Major Racing Days Highlight Fair Grounds Stakes Schedule

An emphasis on four major event days highlights the stakes schedule for Fair Grounds' 133rd season of racing. The schedule includes 53 stakes offering nearly $5.9 million in purses.

The original stakes schedule was revamped to create four days with four or more stakes races on the schedule, beginning with the 14th annual Louisiana Champions Day Dec. 11, an all-stakes card for state-breds with $1-million in purses.

The other major days are spread out monthly, beginning with the "Road to the Derby Kickoff" Jan. 15 that features the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds, the Tiffany Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial and the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap.

On Feb. 12, Louisiana Derby Preview Day features the Grade III Risen Star Stakes, the Grade II Silverbulletday Stakes for fillies and the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap for older horses, along with the Taylor's Special Handicap for turf sprinters.

The flagship day of the 82-day meet will be March 12, when the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) and the Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap will offer a total of $1.5 million in purses - the richest stakes day in Louisiana racing history.

The schedule's other notable day is March 19, when the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. II) on the turf will headline a stakes tripleheader.