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Art is the Driving…

Dec 3 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Backyard Grooves

Dec 03, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Celebration in the…

Dec 03, 2016 - Jan 01, 2017
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christian Marclay's…

Dec 3 - 4, 2016
THE CLOCK by Christian Marclay comes to New Orleans! Never before exhibited in… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 3 - 31, 2016
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Clarence John…

Dec 03, 2016 - Mar 25, 2017
A Louisiana native, Clarence John Laughlin (1905 - 1985) ranks among the most… more

Court of Two Sisters…

Dec 3 - 3, 2016
Join us for the  Jazz Brunch with Santa! There will be  both the Jazz… more

Double Dose

Dec 03, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

Exhibition to feature…

Dec 03, 2016 - Mar 25, 2017
 The Historic New Orleans Collection will open its next exhibition,… more

Historic New Orleans…

Dec 03, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Holiday Gingerbread…

Dec 3 - 3, 2016
Reserve Seats to Red Fish Grill's Annual Gingerbread House Building Workshops… more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 3 - 31, 2016
Just in time for the holiday season, The Historic New Orleans Collection will… more

Holiday Print Sale

Dec 3 - 3, 2016
Please join us on Saturday, December 3rd for a Holiday Print Sale. All work… more

Jambalaya, the Musical

Dec 3 - 3, 2016
‘JAMBALAYA, the MUSICAL’ , a new musical by award-winning creator… more

Jefferson Performance…

Dec 3 - 11, 2016
The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) is a fast paced, hysterical, whimsical… more

Krewe of Jingle Parade

Dec 3 - 3, 2016
Back for its ninth year, New Orleans' official holiday parade, the "Krewe… more

Magazine St. Holiday…

Dec 3 - 18, 2016
Dat Dog’s Magazine Street location will also transform during the first… more

Mama's Music

Dec 03, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

Miracle on Fulton…

Dec 3 - 24, 2016
NOV 22 – DEC 24 Hourly Snowfall 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Gingerbread… more

Modgun by Robert…

Dec 3 - 18, 2016
The public is invited to tour the newly installed ModGun by Robert Tannen, the… more

Art is the Driving…

Dec 3 - 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This 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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