Horse Racing in New Orleans
Fair Grounds Horse Racing Season Opens Thanksgiving Day
They're soon to be off and running and, once again, playing the ponies will be happening at the nation's third-oldest horse racing track.
Returning to its old tradition, the thoroughbred racing season at the Fair Grounds Race Course officially opens on Thanksgiving Day. Opening day events and specials have yet to be announced but one thing is an absolute given – you can count on getting a tasty, complete Thanksgiving dinner that day if you make reservations for the clubhouse before it fills up.
With a history dating back to 1872, the Fair Grounds Race Course is not only the third oldest continuously operating thoroughbred racetrack in the United States, it is also one of the most famous.
The Fair Grounds has seen more than its share of horse racing history made along its mile-long oval. The names of the jockeys who have ridden to victory there – Arcaro, Longden, Shoemaker, Mooney, Delahoussaye, Pat Day and many more – are as legendary as the horses themselves, among whom Black Gold, Pan Zareta, Whirlaway and Risen Star lead the pack (literally!).
Racing season at the Fair Grounds runs from Thanksgiving weekend through the end of March the following year. Many featured races and "handicaps" are held throughout the season, including the prestigious Louisiana Derby just before the end of each season.
The track offers a wide selection of seating options, ranging from ultra-modern dining facilities in a glass-enclosed clubhouse – complete with video monitors at each table – to no-frills grandstand seating outdoors. "Rail birds" can belly up to the fence at the finish line, cheering on their favorites as they round the final turn in a hoof-thundering finale. A wide range of betting options are available at dozens of pari-mutuel counters and the odds can change for better or worse up to one minute before post time.
For more information call (504) 944-5515 or log on to www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.
For information on joining the Twin Spires Club go to www.twinspires.com/content/.