Beard, Fair Grounds Racing Official, Passes Away

Raymond J. Beard, a longtime racing official, who worked at Fair Grounds for more than a decade, died Wednesday at his home, one day before what would have been his 62nd birthday.

Beard, a Louisiana native and Air Force veteran, served as Fair Grounds' director of simulcasting from the early 1990s until earlier this year. During his career in the racing industry, he also served as an official at Jefferson Downs, Ak-Sar-Ben, Canterbury Downs and Scarborough Downs and was a correspondent for Daily Racing Form.

Beard also covered sports for The Times-Picayuene, was a member of game-day staffs for the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets and served as an usher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in suburban Kenner, La.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.