Fair Grounds Bankruptcy Auction Now Set for August

A bankruptcy auction for Fair Grounds has been tentatively set for Aug. 16, pending approval of an amended bankruptcy plan that was scheduled to be filed by the New Orleans, La., racetrack June 23.

The auction is expected to include what is being called a "stalking horse," which is a party with a known bid to purchase the track. Fair Grounds attorneys' declined to identify the stalking horse, but several parties have expressed serious interest in the track, including Churchill Downs Inc. and the track's former owner, Louie Roussel.

CDI was identified as the stalking horse in published reports. Any interested buyer can bid against the stalking horse, which could then make a counter offer.

In an objection to Fair Grounds' original bankruptcy plan filed by the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, it was stated Fair Grounds had previously turned down a $45-million offer from CDI. The Louisiana HBPA, which is owed almost $90 million by Fair Grounds for underpayment of video poker revenue, wrote in the objection Fair Grounds shouldn't have turned down the offer without a guarantee that the auction would attract a bid of at least that amount.

CDI officials wouldn't comment on their interest in Fair Grounds or if they were the auction's stalking horse.