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141st Thoroughbred Racing Season to Open Thanksgiving Day
NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, April 25, 2012) – The 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season atFair Grounds Race Course & Slots will encompass 84 live racing days, from Nov. 22, 2012 to March 31, 2013. The dates were approved at Monday’s quarterly meeting of the Louisiana State Racing Commission.
The Thoroughbred Racing Season again starts with the traditional Thanksgiving Day opener on Nov. 22. In the only significant change from last season’s schedule, racing will be conducted four days per week (except holiday weeks), Thursdays to Sundays, through February. In March racing expands to five days per week, Wednesdays to Sundays. In recent years the season started with five-day weeks before shifting to four-day weeks.
“Assigning more dates toward the end of the season allows us to take advantage of historically better weather in March, which we anticipate will result in a net increase in turf races,” said Fair Grounds President Tim Bryant. “We also have found, for a number of reasons, that it’s easier to attract large and competitive fields later in the meet. This shift should improve the quality of our product from day one.”
Outside of the normal weekly schedule, special holiday cards will be presented on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, a Monday), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21, a Monday), Mardi Gras (February 12, a Tuesday) and Washington’s Birthday, also known as Presidents Day (Feb. 18, a Monday).
There will be no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, when Super Bowl XLVII will be hosted in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The milestone 100th Louisiana Derby will be run as part of the meet’s penultimate card on March 30, a Saturday, five weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby. Closing Day, March 31, coincides with Easter Sunday.