Fair Grounds offers new premium seating for Thanksgiving opener

Fair Grounds Race Course will begin accepting Clubhouse and box seat reservations for the 141st Thoroughbred racing season on October 22, one month prior to the traditional opening on Thanksgiving Day, November 22.

Reservations may only be made by phone on weekdays (through November 21) or live racing days (November 22 and beyond), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CT), at 504-943-2200. Reservations for Louisiana Derby Day on March 30 will not be accepted until January 4. All other dates will be open October 22.

Options for Thanksgiving Day include four new, exclusive premium tables with the best views in the house -- right by the finish line in the Clubhouse's front row, "along the glass," as the regulars say, referring to the massive 25-foot-high windows that look out onto the track from the fourth-floor Clubhouse level.

The Chairman's Table, which seats six, will offer the ultimate opening day experience, including Thanksgiving buffet, champagne, bar tab, tax and gratuity, a visit to the announcer's booth to watch John G. Dooley call a race, a visit to the paddock for a race preview with Katie Mikolay, and, best of all, the honor of presenting the trophy to the winning connections of the featured Thanksgiving Day Handicap.

Three President's Tables, for four or six people, will be offered with the same features as the Chairman's Table, except groups at the President's Tables will present trophies for earlier races on the program.

The one-of-a-kind Chairman's Table is $2,500 all-inclusive. A President's Table for six (two available) is $2,000 and the President's Table for four (one available) is $1,300.

All other Thanksgiving Day Clubhouse Dining reservations start at $65 per person -- at tables of four or six only -- and go up to $125 per person, depending on row. There will be an early first post on Thanksgiving Day of 11 a.m.

Clubhouse reservations will also open October 22 for a slew of important stakes days and Starlight Racing nights. Major stakes days this season at Fair Grounds include Louisiana Champions Day on December 8, Road to the Derby Kickoff Day on January 19, Louisiana Derby Preview Day on February 23 and Louisiana Derby Day on April 1. Additional live racing dates that traditionally fill up early are opening weekend (November 23-25), the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve and Mardi Gras Day (February 12).

The popular Starlight Racing series with live music, DJs, food trucks, drink specials and racing under the lights returns for seven dates -- December 28, January 18, February 1, 22 and March 1, 8, 15.

Clubhouse admission will be $10 on graded stakes days and Starlight Racing nights. All other programs throughout the 84-day season will carry a $7 Clubhouse admission.

In addition to Clubhouse Dining, fans can reserve Clubhouse or Grandstand boxes for any day of the meet except Louisiana Derby Day. A limited number of Clubhouse boxes are available daily for $35 (for six) or $17.50 (for three), except for Starlight Racing and Special Events, when the cost is $95 (for six) or $47.50 (for three). Box seat prices include the standard admission charge.

Grandstand boxes by the day go for $20 (for six) or $10 (for three), except for Starlight Racing and special events, when they're priced at $80 (for six) or $40 (for three). Box seat prices include the standard admission charge for Starlight Racing and special events.

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