Important Dates to Remember During the 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season

NEW ORLEANS – The 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is fast approaching, with the traditional Thanksgiving Day opening set for Nov. 22.

Here are some key dates before and during the season to help fans and horsemen plan ahead (all times Central).

October 22 – Clubhouse Dining reservations open for Thanksgiving Day and all other live racing days (except Louisiana Derby Day) beginning at 9 a.m. For reservations call (504) 943-2200.

October 25 – Horse Talk Happy Hour, 6-7 p.m. at the Metairie OTB Casino (2700 Edenborn Ave., behind Lowe’s; 504-454-3077). Mix and mingle with Fair Grounds executives and handicappers while enjoying happy hour specials, prize giveaways and contests.

November 1 – Horse Talk Happy Hour, 6-7 p.m. attheCovington OTB (#1 Hollycrest Plaza, U.S. Hwy 190 North; 985-898-0080). Mix and mingle with Fair Grounds executives and handicappers while enjoying happy hour specials, prize giveaways and contests.

November 8 – Horse Talk Happy Hour, 6-7 p.m. attheGretna OTB Casino (64A Westbank Expwy., near Stumpf; 504-364-1177). Mix and mingle with Fair Grounds executives and handicappers while enjoying happy hour specials, prize giveaways and contests.

November 9 – Betting 101 Luncheon at Hotel Monteleone – with cuisine by Criollo Restaurant, a celebrity hat show sponsored by Haute Dames, prize drawings and a handicapping tutorial with Fair Grounds publicist Jim Mulvihill – at noon in the world-famous Carousel Bar & Lounge (214 Royal St.). For more information or to purchase tickets ($35pp), contact Hotel Monteleone’s Carly Plotkin at (504) 681-4452.

November 13 – Louisiana Derby Press Conference to announce new plans related to the milestone 100th Louisiana Derby at 2 p.m.

November 15 – Horse Talk Happy Hour, 6-7 p.m. at theKenner OTB Casino (1700 Joe Yenni Blvd., near Williams; 504-466-8525). Mix and mingle with Fair Grounds executives and handicappers while enjoying happy hour specials, prize giveaways and contests.

November 17 – First day of entries, for races on Opening Day, Nov. 22.

November 22 – Opening Day of the 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by East Jefferson General Hospital with a nine-race card, featuring the $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap for top sprinters. First post is 11 a.m.

December 8 – Louisiana Champions Day Presented by Acadian Ambulance with 11 stakes for Louisiana-breds worth $1.1 million. First post is 12:10 p.m. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will give away two $1,000 scholarships in a drawing open only to students currently enrolled in an accredited degree program.

December 15 – “Beat the Champs” NHC Qualifier Handicapping Tournament with three berths to the $1.5 million National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas on the line, as well as a cash prize pool up to $20,000 (depending on number of entries) to be split among all players who finish ahead of past NHC Champions and Louisiana natives Michael Beychok and Judy Wagner. For details and registration info, visit FGNO.com/tournaments.

December 22 – Santa Super Saturday Presented by Kubota Tractors & Lee Tractor Company with Live Reindeer featuring three open-company stakes worth $225,000 and live reindeer for families from Noon-4 p.m. Reindeer admission, $5. First post is 12:40 p.m.

December 28 – Starlight Racing/College Night, with live music by Category 6 in the Clubhouse and DJ Soul Sister in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will give away two $1,000 scholarships in a drawing open only to students currently enrolled in an accredited degree program.

January 18 – Starlight Racing, with live music by Chee Weez in the Clubhouse and DJ San-D in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

January 19 – Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone with five stakes worth $625,000, topped by the Grade III Lecomte for 3-year-olds, the first in the Fair Grounds’ three-race stakes series for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, plus food trucks, bounce houses for kids and more! First post is 12:10 p.m.

February 1 – Starlight Racing, with live music by Karma in the Clubhouse and DJ Jubilee in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

February 12 – Mardi Gras Day, a Fair Grounds tradition with live racing, including the featured $75,000 Mardi Gras Handicap for top female sprinters. First post is 12:40 p.m.

February 22 – Starlight Racing, with live music by Groovy 7 in the Clubhouse and DJ Jive in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

February 23 – Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford with six stakes worth more than $1 million, topped by the Grade II Risen Star Stakes for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, plus food trucks, bounce houses for kids and more! First post is 12:10 p.m.

March 1 – Starlight Racing, with live music by The Mixed Nuts in the Clubhouse and DVDJ Crush in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

March 8 – Starlight Racing, with live music by Bucktown All-Stars in the Clubhouse and DJ Digital in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

March 15 – Starlight Racing, with live music by Topcats in the Clubhouse and DJ Kemistry in the trackside tent, plus food trucks and drink specials

March 30 – Louisiana Derby Day, annually Louisiana’s richest racing program, with seven stakes worth $2.51 million, including four Grade II events, topped by the milestone 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby for horses hoping to move on to the Kentucky Derby, plus a new Louisiana Derby entertainment experience (details to be announced Nov. 13). First post is 2 p.m.

More details on these and additional special events will be announced as they become available. Visit FGNO.com throughout the 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season for the latest news and promotional information.