Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.

Fair Grounds to Offer Night Racing

Starting Jan. 15, will be held three Friday nights during the meeting.

(Edited track release)

Starlight Racing, a new night racing experience with specialty drinks in the trackside Miller beer garden chalet, live music by The Wise Guys, and charbroiled oysters will take place at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans three Friday nights beginning Jan. 15. Post time is 5 p.m.

“Starlight Racing marks a complete reimagining of the racetrack experience in New Orleans,” said Fair Grounds president Austin Miller. “Live racing remains the centerpiece, but on our three Starlight Racing dates we will complement the on-track action with upscale entertainment to make for a complete night on the town. We’re excited to show the city a new side of horse racing where young professionals who have never been to the track and casual fans who aren’t gamblers will have as much fun here as our loyal regulars. Based on the tremendous response to our most popular annual programs, like Thanksgiving and Louisiana Derby day, we are eager to offer additional opportunities for fans to ‘see and be seen’ at the races.”

Fair Grounds in owned by Churchill Downs Inc., whose flagship track, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., successfully experimented with night racing last summer.

Starlight racing will offer two distinct experiences—a high-energy club atmosphere in the heated Miller beer garden chalet and patio with track views along the rail and a more sophisticated vibe in the Clubhouse with semi-private cabana-style lounge seating and live music from The Wise Guys. 

The Miller beer garden chalet and patio, outfitted with space heaters in the event of cold weather, will incorporate the charbroiled oysters from Drago’s, specialty fare from Messina’s, lounge seating, cabana-style seating, premium martinis and cosmopolitans, themed lighting, and high-definition plasma monitors.
Clubhouse levels 4 and 5 will offer the first-come, first-served semi-private cabana-style seating, themed decor by Mardi Gras Productions, premium martinis and cosmopolitans, and an enhanced Starlight Racing clubhouse menu by Chef Ray Derderian. The Wise Guys, one of the city’s most popular party bands, will take the clubhouse bandstand (4th floor east) at 6 p.m.