Contact: Joe Kristufek
Racing Analyst/Media Relations
[email protected]



Duke of Carthania a formidable threat in turf stakes for three-year-olds

New Orleans (January 30, 2020) – It’s not often you get 12-1 odds on a Brad Cox-trained allowance winner, but such was the case when Godolphin LLC’s Hieronymus crossed the line first over the Fair Grounds turf on December 28. As the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Randy P. Romero Memorial Overnight Stakes, the son of Girolamo is certain to attract much more attention.
Named in honor of the Hall of Fame jockey, Louisiana native and fan favorite who passed away in late August at the age of 61, the $60,000 Randy P. Romero Memorial Overnight Stakes (formerly Captain Maestri) for three-year-olds will be contested over one mile of turf. Randy’s son, Randy Jr., and several members of the Romero family will be in attendance to present the trophy to the winning connections.
A maiden winner at first asking over the Ellis Park lawn on August 11, Hieronymus would not be seen again for more than three months. In that first-level allowance race over a yielding Churchill turf on November 21, he showed speed to the top of the stretch and then faded to finish eighth of ten.
“He came down with a two-year-old bug after the maiden win,” Cox explained. “He got over it, but he went awhile without a work. He came back a little blah but he was sound and we needed to run to find out where we were with him. He ran a dismal race at Churchill but the course was pretty soft that day, like it always in the fall.”
Vanned down to New Orleans shortly thereafter, Hieronymus got back to work.
“His first breeze back at Fair Grounds was just OK, but then he kind of turned it on,” Cox said. “We started to see the Hieronymus that we saw in the summer and he ran like it.”
On the lead nearly every step of the way for jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, Hieronymus thwarted the challenge of Blackberry Wine and then held off the late bid of Bodecream to score a ½ length win over that foe. Blackberry Wine is being considered for the Risen Star (G2) off a follow-up allowance victory, and Bodecream returned take down the Texas Turf Mile Stakes at Sam Houston in his next start.
“He surprised us a little bit, but we’ve liked him from the start,” Cox said. “We’ve seen more of the same since, so I’m confident we will get a good effort out of him on Saturday.
Another obvious contender in the Romero is BG Stables’ Duke of Carthania. Following a pair of solid turf efforts to begin his career, the son of Constitution broke through with a maiden score over the Fair Grounds green on December 19 for trainer Mark Casse.
“He’s by Constitution, who is a son of Tapit, so he can get a little bit hot,” assistant trainer David Carroll admitted. “He’s certainly a work in progress but he’s come a long way. He used to worry and fret over everything and he could get a little worked up in his stall, but he’s growing out of that.”
“He’s going to keep getting better with experience,” Carroll continued. “He won quite nicely at Fair Grounds and then got a little bit sick on us, so we backed off of him. We geared him up again and took a look at the Randy Romero. We feel like he’s doing very well and we will take our chances.”
With named rider Adam Beschizza currently in the midst of a 15-day suspension, Carroll stated that Miguel Mena will be given the call aboard the 7-2 second choice Duke of Carthania.
A winner of two of three lifetime starts on turf, Anton Kubacak’s Perfect Star enters the Romero off a disappointing tenth in the Lecomte (G3) on dirt for trainer Scott Gelner and regular rider Robby Albarado. Returning to his preferred surface with darkened form, he could be poised for a mild upset.
Completing the field for the Randy P. Romero Overnight Stakes with jockey, trainer and morning line odds are: Louie Rousel III’s Kunal (Murrill/Roussel III at 5-1); P. Dale Ladner’s Jack the Umpire (C. Hernandez/Brinkman at 5-1); Gary M. Scherer and Robert Bernacki’s Richard Ronald (Geroux/G. Scherer at 8-1); and Dare to Dream Stable LLC’s The Gray Blur (Morales/C. Davis at 6-1).



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 148th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 107 th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 28, 2019 through March 29, 2020. 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.