Despite an increase in racing days during the first six months of this year, total pari-mutuel handle at Churchill Downs, Inc.-owned tracks fell 9.7%, from $1.06 billion in 2013, to $958.3 million.
Intense Holiday emerged from his scintillating nose victory in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 22 in good order and is expected to continue on to the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 29.
Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots has raised the purse of the grade II Louisiana Derby to $750,000, increased the distance to 1 1/8 miles and moved the 3-year-old fixture to March 27, five weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
A collection of familiar faces to Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots will line up Feb. 7 in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), which is part of the six-stakes "Louisiana Derby Preview Day" card scheduled for the New Orleans-area track.
Mark Conner, a 16-year veteran of the gaming industry, has been named the new director of marketing at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
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