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Milwaukee Miracle Caps Lagniappe Saturday with CC Derby Win

Milwaukee Miracle Caps Lagniappe Saturday With CC Derby Win


NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 28, 2009) - Tom Curtis' Milwaukee Miracle rallied outside the early leaders to win the $75,000 Crescent City Derby, the finale of four stakes that kicked off Louisiana Lagniappe Weekend presented by Miller Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Milwaukee Miracle, dismissed at odds of better than 5-1 despite being the morning-line choice in the field of 13 Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds, drew off to a 4 1/4-length win in the 1 1/16-mile event under jockey Gabriel Saez. He paid $12.60, $7.20 and $5.20.

"I'd never ridden the horse before so I didn't know what to expect," said Saez. "I knew I had a lot of horse under me going down the backside, so I eased him out for the stretch run and he just took off."

Trained by Robert Young, Milwaukee Miracle toured the distance in 1:46.40 and increased his lifetime earnings to $130,630 with his fourth win in eight starts.

Break Up rallied late to be clearly second best, returning $13 and $7, while pacesetter Silent Pipe, who posted early splits of  23.66 and 48.04, weakened late to finish third, paying $6 while 1 1/4 lengths farther back.

In the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for Louisiana-bred sophomore fillies, Heiligbrodt Racing's Seven Seventythree rallied late to best runner-up Muffin by a neck with favored Warrior Maid six lengths farther back in third.

Seven Seventythree paid $7.60, toured the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:46.39 and increased her career earnings to $130,300 with her third win from eight career starts.

Robby Albarado was aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen. Coincidentally, the winning owner, jockey and trainer are all wrapping up title-winning seasons at Fair Grounds this weekend.

Earlier Saturday, the Frank Leggio-trained Alphadoodle ($20), also ridden by Albarado, led from gate to wire to win the $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes for state-bred filly and mare sprinters by two lengths.

Joining Happy Ticket's owner Stewart Madison in presenting the trophy to the winning trainer was Frank Leggio's uncle Andy, who was the conditioner of Happy Ticket, the all-time leading money earner among Louisiana-breds.

Alphadoodle covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.66 and increased her career earnings to $175,065 with her fifth win in 11 starts. Odds-on favorite Coach Mike finished second, with Sax Appeal finishing third.

In the $60,000 John E. Jackson Jr. Memorial Stakes for Louisiana-bred sprinters, Mr. Porter ($7.20) proved best by a half-length, touring the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.60

Mr. Porter - owned by Maggi Moss, trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by James Graham - increased his career earnings to $218,340 with his fifth win in 28 starts.

Myoldmansam rallied late to finish second in the Jackson, three-quarters of a length in front of Ide Like a Double.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.