Contact: Joe Kristufek

Racing Analyst/Media Relations
[email protected]



Winchell homebred scores her fifth straight win,
earning 50 Kentucky Oaks points in the process

            British Idiom stepped into the ring as the champ, but in the end, it was Winchell Thoroughbreds and J. R Thomas’ Finite who would score the knockout blow in Saturday’s Rachel Alexandra (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-old fillies, Finite found herself in a clear, stalking position behind the front-running His Glory through honest fractions of 24.20 and 47.92. Inching closer while three-wide on the turn for home, she took command at the top of the stretch and extended her advantage to the finish line, scoring by a 4 ¾ lengths over the 4-5 favorite British Idiom in a final time of 1:43.97 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track. It was 1 ¾ lengths back to Swiss Skydiver in third (earned ten Oaks points), and a neck to Tempers Rising (earned five Oaks points) in fourth.

“She was really ready and cranked for today,” jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. said. “I knew turning for home I had a lot of horse under me. She responded right when I asked her and she’s just such a fighter.”

The Rachel Alexandra marked the fifth consecutive victory for the homebred daughter of Munnings, who earned 50 points on the Road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). She now sits atop the leaderboard with 70. There’s seemingly no end to Finite’s winning ways.

“I think that last race (narrow win in the Silverbulletday) put us in this position,” trainer Steve Asmussen said of Saturday’s dominant performance. “This race (the Rachel Alexandra) has obviously been a producer of really nice fillies and I think we have something to work with now. She’s always been a really game filly who has shown a lot of heart.”

Asmussen has now won the Rachel Alexandra five times. Four of those victories have come with Winchell homebreds and two of those, Untapable (2014) and Summerly (2005), would go on to win the Kentucky Oaks.

“We’re hoping this filly can stay sound and keep running well and hopefully follow that same path,” Asmussen said when asked about a potential run for Finite in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) on March 21.

In what was her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita en route to Eclipse Award honors as Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, British Idiom steadied early, was wide on both turns and finished willingly. She earned 20 Kentucky Oaks points, giving her a total of 50. Regular rider Javier Castellano wasn’t the least bit discouraged.

“I am really happy with how she did it today,” Castellano said. “We were second best but I think she ran a good race. Finite has been running consistently. We’ve been off since Breeders’ Cup so she needed this race. I think next time will be a different story.”




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

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.