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Upcoming Events

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"Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 23, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Nov 23, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Boesman and Lena

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
American Theatre Project of New Orleans returns to Ashé Cultural Arts… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Kids get the royal holiday treatment at their own Celebration in the Oaks… more

Kirk Franklin…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Raise the roof Sunday mornings with brunch featuring the explosive energy of… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
This swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan will have you and your family hooked… more

Mistletoe Marketplace…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Kickoff Mistletoe Marketplace in the French Quarter at 4 p.m. on Thursday,… more

New Orleans Poboy…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Come join us for the New Orleans Poboy Festival. The New Orleans Po-Boy… more

Smoothie King Center…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Nov 23 - 26, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

The New Orleans…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
The New Orleans Fringe has become known for its offbeat and sometimes crazy… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 23, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
Get your fix of Emeril's famed contemporary New Orleans cuisine at the flagship… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
Make a pit-stop on the way to the Superdome at the iconic Emeril's Delmonico in… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
NOLA, the casual, funky eatery located in the heart of the French Quarter, is a… more

New Orleans Saints…

Nov 24 - 24, 2014
The New Orleans Saints & Baltimore Ravens kick-off at 7:30 pm more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 24 - 26, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

Canal Street Lighting…

Nov 25 - 25, 2014
Stroll along Canal Street and watch as the Downtown Development District and… more

"Mysterious…

Nov 23 - 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… 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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