Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots announced its second purse increase of the season Feb. 5, boosting overnight purses 5% while also increasing the prize money for three Louisiana Derby Day stakes.
The grade II New Orleans Handicap was bumped from the $300,000 to $400,000; the grade II Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap goes from $300,000 to $350,000; and the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes is now $150,000, up from $100,000.
“We are pleased with the current performance of our racing, gaming and video poker businesses,” track vice president and general manager Eric Halstrom said. “Revenue from all three contributes to a lucrative purse structure that attracts top stables from around the continent. We thank all of our fans from coast to coast for choosing to wager with Fair Grounds.”
The overnight purse increase will go into effect beginning Feb. 10. Fair Grounds also boosted purses 5% on Jan. 6.
The March 26 Louisiana Derby Day program will be the richest day of Thoroughbred racing in Louisiana history, with six stakes now worth $2.4 million, highlighted by the first $1 million race ever run in New Orleans, the Louisiana Derby (gr. II).