FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Joe Kristufek
Notes Writer/Media Relations
Lecomte Winner Midnight Bourbon Pointed to Risen Star
Silverbulletday Upsetter Charlie’s Penny Eyes Rachel Alexandra;
Cox looks ahead with beaten favorites Sun Path and Mandaloun
New Orleans (November 24, 2020) – Steve Asmussen’s assistant trainer Scott Blasi reports that Saturday’s Lecomte (G3) winner Midnight Bourbon came out of the race in fine order. Asmussen indicated following the win that the Winchell Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old son of Tiznow would be pointed to the local $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on February 13. Midnight Bourbon earned 10 Kentucky Derby points for his Lecomte win and is currently third in the standings with 16 points.
According to trainer Chris Block, Lothenbach’s Stables’ Silverbulletday winner Charlie’s Penny also exited her race is excellent shape.
“So far everything looks good,” Block said. “She ate up last night and this morning, walked real well and she seems bright and not too knocked out. The next logical plan would be to point towards the Rachel Alexandra (G2, $300,000 at 1 1/16 miles on February 13 at Fair Grounds). What has pushed her forward is her mind and her determination. She’s not a very big filly, king of average in size and a little bit on the narrow side, but all that is relative to what she can do herself. Yesterday she was helped by the (slow) pace, but so was everybody else, or so I would have thought. She rose to the occasion, now it’s time to see if she can take the next step forward. It was really nice to win this race at Fair Grounds. My family used to send horses here for the winter with (the late) Richie Scherer, and management has been very kind to us.”
For her win, the Minnesota-bred daughter of Race Day earned ten points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Trainer Brad Cox reports that his pair of beaten favorites – Sun Path (4th in the Silverbulletday) and Mandaloun (3rd in the Lecomte) – exited their respective races in good order. Sun Path will be given some time to regroup, while Mandaloun is likely for an equipment change next time out.
“I was super disappointed with the outcome of the Silverbulletday,” Cox admitted. “We don’t see any physical issue with Sun Path. She appears to have come out of it well as of now. Obviously, we will back up a little bit. We won’t run back in four weeks. We’ll just try to train up to either the Honeybee (at Oaklawn Park) or the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2, March 20). They would really be our only options moving forward. We need a little more time between races. She’s going to be a little bit of a question mark until we run her again. She was doing so well leading up to this race (Silverbulletday).
“We still think he (Mandaloun) is a very good horse,” Cox said. “He raced wide around both turns. I thought it was a good experience. He showed up. He ran his race. I think we are going to add blinkers. I talked it over with the Juddmonte team and Florent (jockey Geroux). We kind of thought that ever since his first race. He came out it (Lecomte) so far so good. We will definitely look at coming back in the Risen Star.
“Gagetown raced well for his first time around two turns (second in a first level allowance earlier in the card),” Cox said. “Thought it was a good effort. Run was a little spotty. He was a little unsure of what was going on. It looked like he was going to be third, maybe even fourth, but he re-rallied and was actually running at the winner. He’s still trying to figure it out. I wanted to get two sprints into him since he broke his maiden first time. I don’t really think he’s a 6-furlong horse, but I’m not so certain he’s like a mile-and-an-eighth horse either. He’s somewhere there in the middle.”
Bris speed figures for Saturday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” Stakes winners:
Midnight Bourbon (Lecomte): 95
Charlie’s Penny (Silverbulletday): 88
Title Ready (Louisiana): 96
Logical Myth (Bradley): 94
Manny Wah (Kenner): 96
Secret Message (Krantz): 91
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 13 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 149th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 108th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 26, 2020 through March 28, 2021. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.
Information set forth in this press release contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”) provides certain “safe harbor” provisions for forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements made in this press release are made pursuant to the Act. The reader is cautioned that such forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time and/or management’s good faith belief with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include the following: the effect of economic conditions on our consumers’ confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks related to real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations, including the impact of natural and other disasters on our operations and our ability to obtain insurance recoveries in respect of such losses; inability to identify and complete acquisition, expansion or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; legalization of online real money gaming and sports wagering in the United States, and our ability to capitalize on and predict such legalization; the number of people attending and wagering on live horse races; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; inability to protect our own intellectual property rights; security breaches and other security risks related to our technology, personal information, source code and other proprietary information, including failure to comply with regulations and other legal obligations relating to receiving, processing, storing and using personal information; payment- related risks, such as chargebacks for fraudulent credit card use; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; compliance with payment processing and payment transmission regulations; work stoppages and labor issues; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full field horseraces; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; the inability of our totalisator company, United Tote, to maintain its processes accurately, keep its technology current or maintain its significant customers; weather conditions affecting our ability to conduct live racing; increased competition in the horseracing business; changes in the regulatory environment of our racing operations; declining popularity in horseracing; seasonal fluctuations in our horseracing business due to geographic concentration of our operations; increased competition in our casino business; changes in regulatory environment of our casino business; the cost and possibility for delay, cost overruns and other uncertainties associated with the develop.m.ent and expansion of casinos; concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; impact of further legislation prohibiting tobacco smoking; geographic concentration of our casino business; changes in regulatory environment for our advanced deposit wagering, sports wagering, or online gaming businesses; increase in competition in the advanced deposit wagering, sports wagering, or online gaming businesses; inability to retain current customers or attract new customers to our advanced deposit wagering, sports wagering, or online gaming businesses; uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape relating to our advanced deposit wagering, sports wagering, or online gaming businesses; and failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain individuals could result in penalties or impairment in our ability to offer advanced deposit wagering, sports wagering, or online gaming.