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Fair Grounds Announces Inaugural Infield Festival Set for March 30

Media Contact:
Jim Mulvihill
Communications and Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager


Inaugural Infield Festival set for March 30

Cowboy Mouth to Headline Infield Festival Stage

NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, November 13, 2012) - The milestone 100th Louisiana Derby on March 30 is poised to be the biggest in track history with the creation of Infield Festival, a new entertainment experience at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to be headlined by native New Orleans rockers Cowboy Mouth. Details of the Infield Festival, which will also feature the largest food truck gathering in the city and exclusive VIP areas, were announced Tuesday by Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots officials at a press conference in the Winner's Circle.

"We only get one shot at our 100th Louisiana Derby and we intend to do it bigger and better than it's ever been done before," said Fair Grounds President Tim Bryant. "Expanding our signature day into the infield affords us the space to throw a different type of party from what our fans are used to. We can offer a wider array of hospitality options and, for fans of live music, a festival atmosphere with one of the city's favorite bands."

Infield Festival will mark the first time the green space within the track oval has been open to the public on a live racing day since the 1930s.

To access the infield without causing undue wear on the main track and turf course, fans will cross over a series of temporary bridges that will roll on and off the track between races. The ramps are on loan from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, where they are used to move tens of thousands into the infield for the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown on Preakness Day.

Infield Festival will combine the ingredients that has made the "Starlight Racing" night racing series a success with an outdoor Louisiana festival vibe. The food truck gathering will be the largest in New Orleans since Fair Grounds hosted the inaugural Street Fare Derby in 2011. The VIP offerings will include both mobile suites, identical to those at professional golf tournaments, and tented party areas. Cowboy Mouth will play to an infield where lawn chairs and blankets will be encouraged.   

Infield Festival General Admission will be $25 with VIP packages starting at $60. Advance tickets will go on sale online in January.

Infield Festival & Crescent City Classic
For its inaugural year, Infield Festival and Louisiana Derby Day will fall on the same date as the 75th Crescent City Classic foot race, which ends that morning in nearby City Park. The Crescent City Classic will start a half-hour earlier than normal this year, at 8 a.m., while Louisiana Derby Day will have a later-than-usual first post time of 2 p.m.

Fair Grounds will host two special Crescent City Classic nights at the track during Starlight Racing on dates to be announced. Meanwhile, Crescent City Classic runners will have the chance to purchase discounted Infield Festival tickets when they complete their race registration online. 

About Cowboy Mouth
(Edited bio from

For more than 15 years, the members of Cowboy Mouth have preached and shouted at the top of their lungs the joys of being alive and the joys of being in and from New Orleans, sharing a slice of Mardi Gras heaven with fans around the world. The band's 11 albums include two major-label releases on MCA and one on Atlantic. Their high-octane live shows have been seen by nearly 10 million fans worldwide. Always on the road, they have toured with the likes of Hootie and the Blowfish, Barenaked Ladies, Sister Hazel and Better Than Ezra. The band has made appearances on MTV, VH1, Live! With Regis and Kelly, The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.

"It seems appropriate for the biggest day in Louisiana racing that we have one of the biggest and fiercest Louisiana bands," Bryant said.

About the Louisiana Derby
The $1 million Louisiana Derby is an important final stop for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds on the road to the Kentucky Derby, the world's most famous horse race. The Louisiana Derby is the richest Thoroughbred horse race in Louisiana and the Deep South. Horses from the Louisiana Derby have gone on to win all three of racing's Triple Crown events, including Kentucky Derby winners Black Gold (1924) and Grindstone (1996). Every year, gamblers around the world wager about $10 million on the Louisiana Derby Day races.

Additional Contacts
For Infield Festival partnership opportunities, contact Advertising and Partnerships Supervisor Scott Hosen at (504) 948-1227. For information on booking Louisiana Derby Day groups of 25 or more, contact the Group Sales Department at (504) 948-1285.

About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest racetrack, 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 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season runs Thanksgiving Day, November 22, through March 31, 2013, highlighted by the milestone 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby for Kentucky Derby hopefuls and the inaugural Infield Festival on March 30, 2013. More information can be found online at