When Fair Grounds begins its 131st season of racing on Thanksgiving Day, its racing office will feature a pair of new faces.Fair Grounds president and general manager Bryan Krantz announced Thursday that Ben Huffman has been added to the staff as stakes coordinator, and Jason Boulet will be assistant director of racing."These moves help us bolster our racing office," Krantz said, "at a time when race tracks across the country are struggling to fill their daily race cards."
Huffman, a native of Louisville, Ky., and a 12-year veteran of racing offices, serves as racing secretary at Keeneland Race Course and has also been racing secretary at Ellis Park. He has also worked at Saratoga. Boulet, who is currently a jockey's agent, has experience in racing offices throughout Louisiana, including Fair Grounds.Also Thursday, Fair Grounds' director of racing Mervin Muniz Jr. announced has scheduled 58 stakes races offering more than $7 million in purses for the meet. Among the highlights of the meet is the March 9Louisiana Derby, which will feature the "Great Post Challenge" bonus. If a horse wins both the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby in 2003, provided at least six horses start in each race, the owners will receive $1 million.