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Perrodin Closes in on 3,000 with Sunday FG Feature Win

NEW ORLEANS, La. (November 30, 2008) - Popular Louisiana-born jockey E.J. Perrodin moved to within two victories of a career milestone Sunday when he guided Stanley Seelig's Dragum to a 2 1/4-length tally in the off-the-turf allowance optional claiming feature at Fair Grounds.

The win was Perrodin's 2,998th trip to the winner's circle in a career slowed by a long layoff following a pre-race injury at Fair Grounds last November.

Riding for his brother-in-law, trainer Pat Mouton, Perrodin closed boldly with Dragum in the late stages of Sunday's 1 1/16-mile headliner.  Dragum paid mutuels of $17.20, $5.80 and $3.60, while touring the distance in 1:45.86.

The 4-year-old daughter of Menifee was winning her fourth race in 28 career starts and increased her lifetime earnings to $138,718.

Sweetness ‘n Light finished second, paying $3.80 and $3. Sweet Ransom returned $2.80 to show. Miss Patsy set early fractions of :24.32 and :48.75 before fading to fourth.

Perrodin has a chance to reach the 3,000-win plateau as soon as Thursday, when he is named to ride four horses, all for Mouton.

There was plenty of other action Sunday besides Perrodin's feature win.

Prior to the fourth race, leading rider Francisco Torres apparently escaped injury although solidly kicked by his mount Rusty's Jury in the paddock. After being tended to by medical staff for several minutes while still lying on the ground, Torres got to his feet and the pair proceeded to win the 5 1/2-furlong sprint by a head, rewarding backers with a $41.60 win price.

Mouton's win in the feature briefly interrupted a huge second half of the card by trainer Bret Calhoun, who won the sixth, seventh, eighth and 10th races on Sunday's program. Calhoun, who had three wins in the first eight days of the meet, more than doubled his win total.

Following three dark days, live racing resumes at Fair Grounds Thursday with a first race post time of 12:30 p.m. CST.

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.