FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Grant LaGrange
Racing Media Relations Coordinator
PLAY ON EDGES HOTSHOT ANNA
IN MARDI GRAS STAKES THRILLER
Cox trainee scores second stakes win of the Fair Grounds’ meet
After breaking alertly from post 11, Klein Racing’s Play On spied the speed, took command at the top of the stretch and held off the relentless rally of Hotshot Anna to take the $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes by a diminishing head. The final time for the 5 ½ furlong journey over a firm Fair Grounds turf course was 1:03.99. It was 1 ¼ lengths further back to Eyeinthesky in third. The lukewarm 5-2 favorite Unbridled Class checked in fourth.
Winning trainer Brad Cox scratched the morning line favorite Break Even, also owned by Klein Racing, but Play On (4-1) was able to carry the lime, black diamond belt and black chevrons into the winner’s circle.
In three previous stakes appearances at the current Fair Grounds meet, Play On posted a win and two seconds. She just missed by a head to Hotshot Anna in the Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes in November, returned to score in the Pan Zareta Stakes in December, and most recently she was seen finishing second to the longshot Unbridled Class in the Nelson J. Menard Stakes on January 25.
Now a three-time stakes winner, the four-year-old daughter of Country Day boosted her career record to 10-5-2-0 with earnings of $212,883.
“She’s so tactical she makes my job easy,” jockey Shaun Bridgmohan said. “I knew Hotshot Anna was going to be there at the wire. She always puts that run in and you have to respect her for that but I’m just happy we were able to get there today.”
“She’s a nice filly,” said Brad Cox’s assistant trainer Ricky Giannini. “She always put her best effort in and is always right there at the finish. Shaun and I talked about sitting off the pace today and it worked out perfect for us. She got a really good trip. Maybe Keeneland’s Giant Causeway (April 11, $150,000 5 ½ furlongs turf, 3yo & up, f&m) or the Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs will be next.”
Hotshot Anna was eliminated at the break last in the Nelson Menard Memorial Stakes last out, finishing eighth and ending a five-race win streak in the process. She bounced back in a big way on Saturday. The second place effort leaves the 6-year-old daughter of Trappe Shot less than $30,000 shy of $1 million in career earnings.
“She gave it her all,” jockey James Graham said. “I thought I got there but evidently I did not.”
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.