Edited press release
The Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs will begin Nov. 19 with a $500,000 increase in purses.
Overnight purses will be $1,000 per race higher than they are in the condition book. Daily purses will average $315,000 a day, the highest ever for a meet in Louisiana.
Also, purses for each of the four stakes on the Jan. 14 "Road to the Derby" kickoff day--the grade III Risen Star, the grade III Silverbulletday, the grade III Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap, and the Duncan F. Kenner Breeders' Cup--have been increased to $250,000.
The purse increase was implemented due to better than expected business levels at five Fair Grounds-affiliated off-track betting parlors in the New Orleans area that reopened Oct. 26. Like Fair Grounds, they were shuttered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.