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Upcoming Events

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“Awash with Color:…

Feb 13 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

18th Annual Dr.…

Feb 13 - Mar 31, 2016
Join us for the opening reception for the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King… more

Amanda Ducorbier

Feb 13 - 27, 2016
AMANDA DUCORBIER - TRIO at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel more

Backyard Grooves

Feb 13, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Bolden Bar After-Party

Feb 13 - 13, 2016

Cooking Demonstration…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) is pleased to announce that Erik… more

Critter Cinema,…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Join us for  Critter Cinema, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA.  Great… more

Double Dose

Feb 13, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

Food Truck…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016

Irma Thomas' 75th…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Delgado Community College is honoring the beloved “Soul Queen of New… more

Jazz Market Family Day

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Jazz Books; Board Games; Crafts more

Mama's Music

Feb 13, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

Michael Meads: Bent,…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Join us for panelist Michael Meads. He will explore the materials, themes, and… more

Offsite Pet Adoption,…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Offsite Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA will be held at Feet… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Feb 13 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

Solo Sessions Concert…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Live Music Event more

The Foundation…

Feb 13 - 28, 2016
*Opening Reception: January 15, 2016 - 6pm-10pm The Foundation Gallery will be… more

The Historic New…

Feb 13 - May 7, 2016
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, The Historic New… more

The House of Groove

Feb 13, 2016
The House of Groove is a House Party and a live improvised musical journey… more

The Music of the…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
The Rolling Stones are one of the most iconic bands of the last 50 years. Their… more

“Awash with Color:…

Feb 13 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

Thoroughbred meet will open with NIGHT racing Nov. 22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Jim Mulvihill
Communications and Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager
504.948.1233
james.mulvihill@fgno.com

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 www.FGNO.com/horsemen. First post will be 1 p.m. most days. The full stakes schedule also can be accessed at www.FGNO.com/horsemen.    

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 http://www.fairgroundsracecourse.com/.

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