A Big Week -- Both Live and Simulcast

As Peter Finney alluded to in The Times-Picayune today, if you like watching sprinters run in the Olympics, you’ll get the chance to see the equine equivalent at Fair Grounds this week.

Quarter Horse racing makes its debut in New Orleans today through Sunday – well, sort of. We’ve seen Quarter Horses on Louisiana Champions Day and even around Mardi Gras, but this will be the first stand-alone meet for the breed with the need for speed.

Fans will not only enjoy 10 races a day with full fields, but some great food and drink specials, a handicapping seminar Saturday afternoon and live country music on Saturday evening. All told, it should make for a fun five days on Gentilly.

Remember, first post each day is 3 p.m., so even if you’re working, you’ll still have plenty of time to catch the late Pick 4 and then some.

And did we mention there’s great simulcast action to check out as well this weekend?

Start with the Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga. Louisiana Derby winner Pyro is the tepid 7-2 morning-line favorite, but the race will include some others we saw last winter in New Orleans, such as Macho Again and Mambo in Seattle.

The Travers undercard includes some great stakes action as well, with J Be K, an allowance winner here, looking to become a Grade I winner in the King’s Bishop Stakes.

On Sunday, we shift coasts to Del Mar, where Student Council, who wintered here in the Neil Howard barn two years ago, looks to repeat his upset performance of last year in the Pacific Classic.

Bottom line: Whatever type of racing is to your liking, you can partake in it over the next five days at Fair Grounds.