A schedule of 34 stakes races worth more than $3.5 million headlines the 37-day Fair Grounds meet beginning next month at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which severely damaged the Fair Grounds and Delta Downs, the Louisiana Racing Commission approved a shift of racing dates and locations during a Sept. 30 meeting.
Louisiana horsemen are busy shuffling race meetings between Evangeline Downs and Louisiana Downs after Delta Downs became the second track in the state to suffer severe damage due to a hurricane. Delta Downs was scheduled to open its 88-day Thoroughbred meeting Oct. 21.
Churchill Downs Inc. is now in contact with more than 70% of its 500 Louisiana employees who scattered to areas around the country in the evacuation of New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina's arrival.
A unique Fair Grounds at Louisiana Downs meet is not expected to have any effect on the way the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders' Association distributes breeders' awards money, according to Tom Early, LTBA executive director.
Fair Grounds' assistant security chief Jim Schanbien, along with seven co-workers, showed dedication to their city and the historic New Orleans racetrack by volunteering to remain to help firefighters during the blustery violence of Hurricane Katrina and its watery aftermath.
Churchill Downs Inc. has located approximately 40% of its Louisiana workforce displaced by Hurricane Katrina. As of Monday, Sept. 5, 203 employees had been located through the company's toll-free hotline or through Fair Grounds' Web site.
- By Ron Mitchell
As a result of damage to Fair Grounds Race Course from Hurricane Katrina, there will be no live racing there this year and plans are being made for a "unique" meet at Louisiana Downs in its place, according to Churchill Downs president and CEO Tom Meeker.
Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Friday the company is exploring options to conduct a portion of Fair Grounds Race Course's 2005-2006 live race meet at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino will donate 100% of its revenue from its Sept. 4 racing program to the Acadiana Chapter of the Red Cross Relief Fund to assist those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. announced Wednesday it has activated a toll-free information hotline for its Louisiana employees displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The number, which will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is (877) 244-5536.
As Hurricane Katrina moved through New Orleans Monday, the Fair Grounds racetrack sustained some structural damage and the track was being used as a staging area from which rescue vehicles and personnel could work.
The Louisiana State Racing Commission has disqualified Rapid Proof from his win in the March 19 Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds as a result of a positive test for dexamethasone, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Churchill Downs Incorporated was honored as a special award recipient by the Nokia Sugar Bowl at its yearly awards ceremony Wednesday night in the Louisiana Superdome.
- By Tom LaMarra
Reconstruction of the pari-mutuel industry's tote infrastructure is ready to begin, but the project may not be completed for two to three years, Churchill Downs Inc. president Tom Meeker said.
Churchill Downs Inc. posted revenue gains for the opening quarter of 2005 thanks to the addition of 61 racing dates at the newly acquired Fair Grounds, but higher corporate expenses resulted in a net loss of $13.9 million, the company reported May 10.
Churchill Downs Inc. has finalized agreements with AIG Insurance to provide $1 million in on-track insurance coverage for jockeys who compete at CDI racetracks located in states where jockeys are not currently covered by workers' compensation programs.
The New Orleans Planning Commission has postponed for a month a decision on a proposal by Churchill Downs Inc. to install up to 700 slot machines at Fair Grounds.
The New Orleans City Council is seeking a declaratory judgment on whether installation of slot machines at Fair Grounds would violate the city charter.
Fair Grounds Race Course concluded its 133rd season of racing, and its first under the ownership of Churchill Downs Inc. Sunday with its first increases in average all-sources and on-track wagering in four years.
Merry Mary bested stablemate Autobesarah for trainer John Taylor in the $100,000 Red Camelia Handicap for older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares on closing Sunday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
TVG will present live in-studio coverage of the 10th annual Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. HRTV will also air live the Dubai World Cup beginning at 8:30 am ET.
Suspended jockey Donnie Meche has been asked to appear before the Oaklawn Park stewards March 31 to respond to the allegation of attempting to bribe a track official.
Officials in New Orleans are studying whether slot machines at Fair Grounds would conflict with a restriction in the city charter that limits gambling to a downtown casino.
Eleven older horses passed the entry box for the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT), the premier grass event on the Fair Grounds calendar. Highweighted California shipper A to the Z, second to grade I winner Star Over the Bay in his last start in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita, and the red-hot G P Fleet lead a group of horses most familiar with each other postward with half-a-million dollars on the line.
- By Ron Mitchell
Earnings for Churchill Downs Inc. in 2004 and for the fourth quarter were negatively impacted by several one-time expenses, including supporting alternative gaming initiatives, a "non-cash impairment charge" at Ellis Park, and an unrealized loss related to a note, the company reported Wednesday.
Louisiana Derby Day at Fair Grounds Race Course Saturday shattered all-sources handle records and the modern on-track handle record.
Trainer Neil Howard was fined $1,000 and his Alumni Hall was disqualified from a third-place finish in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) after the horse tested positive for the prohibited drug procaine, Fair Grounds stewards ruled March 10.
Churchill Downs Incorporated has signed an agreement with AIG Insurance to provide $1 million in on-track insurance coverage for jockeys who compete at Fair Grounds Race Course in New
A talented group of nine older horses--including seven graded stakes winners--will battle in Saturday's New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds with $500,000 on the line. Highweight Pollard's Vision and second-highweighted Badge of Silver will have to contend with Arthur Hancock's Wanderin Boy.
Graded stakes winner Runway Model will make her seasonal debut Saturday when she breaks from post six in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval.
Fair Grounds Race Course announced Tuesday that overnight purses have been increased by 12%, effective with the race card of Friday, March 11.
Dogwood Stables' Limehouse has been pointed toward the March 12 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), going 1 1/8 miles at Fair Grounds, where he will face a host of talented older runners, including Badge of Silver, Pollard's Vision, and Wanderin Boy.
A pair of top 3-year-old fillies will clash when Summerly and Runway Model hook up in the March 12 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval. Runway Model will be making her 3-year-old debut, while Summerly has two wins to her credit this season.
A field of nine is expected for Saturday's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds after grade I winner Proud Accolade was discovered to have a fever and withdrawn from consideration by trainer Todd Pletcher.
Stacy R. Simms has been named to the newly created position of director of community relations at Fair Grounds Race Course, president and general manager Randall Soth announced Friday.
Former jockey Randy Romero is among eight sports figures that will be inducted into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at a June 25 ceremony in Natchitoches.
"CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby," a nine-show series on the ABC and ESPN networks that provides coverage of key Visa Triple Crown prep races, returns in March, with coverage of the March 5 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Swale Stakes (gr. II) from Gulfstream Park.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will host a New and Prospective Owners Seminar at Fair Grounds Race Course Feb. 12. The seminar will feature topics on the business of Thoroughbred ownership.
Team Block's Dyna Da Wyna headlines a solid field of 13, including five stakes/group winners, in Saturday's $100,000 Dr. A. B. Leggio Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds. The turf dash for older fillies and mares will be run as the first of four $100,000 stakes on the day's card.
Louisiana's path on the Triple Crown trail officially gets underway Saturday with the running of the one-mile LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. Six 3-year-olds have passed the entry box, with Biloxi Palace and Storm Surge figuring to draw the most attention.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced Tuesday that its New and Prospective Owners Seminar will be held at Tampa Bay Downs Jan. 16 and will feature topics on Thoroughbred ownership.
Punch Appeal will be seeking her sixth career stakes win when she contests Saturday's $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds. The Tiffany Lass is the first in a series of three 3-year-old filly stakes leading up to the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 12 at the New Orleans oval.
Biloxi Palace, a two-time winner at Fair Grounds, is looking to make a name for himself along the VISA Triple Crown trail with a solid performance in Saturday's $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. The LeComte is the first in a three-race series leading up to the March 12 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto, whose coverage of sports in New Orleans over the past five decades included the Fair Grounds, died Friday night of an apparent heart attack. He was 73.
Stakes winners Clock Stopper and Gold Storm highlight a field of six sprinters pointed toward Sunday's $60,000 Colonel Power Handicap, going six-furlongs at Fair Grounds. The two runners last met at Lone Star Park in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), where Clock Stopper finished sixth and Gold Storm finished ninth.
The Dallas Stewart-trained Clock Stopper will make his next start in Sunday's $60,000 Colonel Power Handicap at Fair Grounds, and has been issued highweight of 122-pounds in the six furlong event.
Colonial Colony will be seeking his first win since his 62-1 shocker in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in June when he lines up in the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap Friday at Fair Grounds.
Ever since the Oct. 15 purchase of Fair Grounds by Churchill Downs Inc., new track president Randy Soth hasn't been getting much sleep.
Officials at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino announced today Jason Boulet has been hired as racing secretary for the 2005 racing season. Boulet, currently working as a racing official at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, will assume his duties immediately. A Lafayette, La., native, Boulet has held numerous positions on both the backside and the frontside during his 14-year career.
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