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"Let Them Eat Cake!"…

Oct 25 - Nov 9, 2016
Join us for Exhibition for "Let Them Eat Cake!"  Fine Art… more

"Organ & Labyrinth"-…

Oct 25 - 25, 2016
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An Evening with David…

Oct 25 - 25, 2016
The Orpheum Theater has announced David Sedaris, one of America’s… more

Art is the Driving…

Oct 25 - Dec 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

ART21: Mexico City

Oct 25 - 25, 2016
Join us for a screening of "Mexico City" from season 8 of PBS'… more

Danse Macabre- The…

Oct 25 - 30, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection will be offering a special Halloween-themed… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Oct 25, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Education Gallery…

Oct 25 - Nov 27, 2016
Artists and Sense of Place Residency Show featuring artwork created by students… more

Historic New Orleans…

Oct 25, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Ogden Museum of…

Oct 25 - Nov 8, 2016
Each year, the Ogden Museum celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead),… more

Opening Reception for…

Oct 25 - 25, 2016
Join us for The Opening Reception for "Let Them Eat Cake!"This will… more

Pablove Shutterbug…

Oct 25 - 25, 2016
We are celebrating the work of our 2016 New Orleans Pablove Shutterbugs… more

Saenger Theatre…

Oct 25 - 30, 2016
Join us for the Illusionists- Live from Broadway. This mind blowing spectacular… more


Oct 25, 2016 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Oct 26, 2016 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Dean's List

Oct 26 - Dec 28, 2016
Dean's List is a variety show of a most unusual kind. This show blends improv,… more

Evenings with Enrique

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Join us for Evenings with Enrique! This series features entertainment, and… more

Happy's Running Club…

Oct 26 - Dec 28, 2016
Join us every Wednesday  for a  fun 5k or close at the Happy's Irish… more

Le Meridien New…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Join us for "Art + Aperitifs," a fun, interactive painting class… more

Light Up the Night…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Visiting the city, whether from afar or from just across the bridge? Looking to… more

"Let Them Eat Cake!"…

Oct 25 - Nov 9, 2016
Join us for Exhibition for "Let Them Eat Cake!"  Fine Art… more

Thoroughbred meet will open with NIGHT racing Nov. 22

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

Thoroughbred meet will open with NIGHT racing Nov. 22

  • 142nd Season Features 58 Stakes Worth $7.51 Million
  • 101st $1 million Louisiana Derby Set for March 29
  • Louisiana-bred Race Named for Star Guitar

NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, July 9, 2013) - For the first time in a century-and-a-half of racing on this site, a Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meeting will kick off under the lights with a Starlight Racing party for Opening Night of the 142nd Thoroughbred Racing Season on Nov. 22, a Friday. Of course, racing will also be held the following Thursday on Thanksgiving Day, continuing a revered New Orleans tradition dating back to 1898. The dates and stakes schedule for the 84-day meet were officially announced today.

Thoroughbred season will run Nov. 22 to March 30, highlighted by the 101st running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) on March 29. The complete stakes schedule, featuring 58 races cumulatively worth $7.51 million, closely mirrors that of last season.

A complete 2013-2014 racing calendar can be found online at First post will be 1 p.m. most days. The full stakes schedule also can be accessed at    

New Stakes Added

Two minor stakes restricted to Alabama-breds - the $50,000 Magic City Classic for older horses and the $25,000 Kudzu Juvenile for 2-year-olds - are the only new additions to the stakes schedule. Every race that appeared on last season's schedule is back, most with identical purses and conditions. Two stakes for older females - the $75,000 Mardi Gras Handicap, now a turf sprint, and the $75,000 Happy Ticket Stakes, now on the main track - swapped conditions due to where they would fall on the calendar relative to Fat Tuesday.

The meet's final Louisiana-bred stakes event for older horses has been renamed the Star Guitar Stakes in honor of the five-time Louisiana Champions Day winner and member of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame. Star Guitar became the all-time Louisiana-bred earning leader in 2012 by winning the race that will now bear his name, previously known as the Costa Rising Stakes. The Costa Rising name will now be applied to another Louisiana-bred stakes race, replacing the Bayou St. John Stakes name.

Ten Graded Stakes

The Fair Grounds stakes schedule is highlighted by 10 stakes that were graded last season - five Grade II and five Grade III. The Grade II events are the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby for 3-year-olds, the Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, the New Orleans Handicap for older horses and the Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap for older turf horses.

The Grade III events are the Lecomte Stakes for 3-year-olds, the Rachel Alexandra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the Mineshaft Handicap for older horses, and both the Fair Grounds Handicap and the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap for older turf horses.

The North American Graded Stakes committee will meet in December to determine grades for 2014.

"We continue to hope that the esteemed committee will finally recognize that Fair Grounds deserves a Grade I race," said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manger for Racing. "The Louisiana Derby produced two of the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby and the winner of the Belmont Stakes. Our three-race prep series overall featured five of the top six Kentucky Derby finishers plus the Preakness and Belmont winners. A nationally televised, million-dollar race that is now proven as the key final Triple Crown prep has probably earned Grade I status."

Four Starlight Dates Announced

Fair Grounds also announced four Starlight Racing dates in addition to Opening Night. The popular social events feature live music, DJs, drink specials and live racing under the lights on select Friday nights. The 2013-2014 Starlight dates are Nov. 22, Dec. 20, Jan. 17, Feb. 7 and March 14.

Bands and DJs will be announced once the lineup is finalized. For information on private parties and corporate events at Starlight Racing, contact Group Sales 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 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The sixth Summer Quarter Horse Meet runs Aug. 16 to Sept. 7. The 142nd Thoroughbred Racing Season - highlighted by the 101st running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby and the accompanying Infield Festival - will run from November 2013 through March 2014. More information can be found online at