Fair Grounds Renames Stake to Honor Late Racing Official

Fair Grounds racecourse in New Orleans is renaming the $500,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. II), to be run on March 21, 2004, to the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap, in honor of the track's late director of racing and racing secretary. Muniz died Monday at his Metairie, La., home from cancer. He was 60.

Muniz worked for Fair Grounds for some 35 years. He started in the press box and worked his way up to racing secretary in the mid-1980s. He served for a time as general manager. His brother Ramon served as a paddock judge.

Visitation is from 9 a.m.-noon Thursday, August 28 at All Faiths Funeral Home, 5200 Canal Blvd. in New Orleans. Funeral mass is at noon in the All Faiths chapel. Interment to follow at Metairie Cemetery Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Odyssey Healthcare hospice program in Metairie, La.