Key Dates to Know: 142nd Thoroughbred Racing Season

The 142nd Thoroughbred Racing season at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is less than two weeks away, with Exotic Animal Racing on Opening Night taking place  Nov. 22 with a special earlier post at 3 p.m.

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

October 28 – Clubhouse Dining reservations are now open for Opening Night and all other live racing days (except Louisiana Derby Day) For reservations, call (504) 943-2200, 9am-4pm weekdays.

November 19 – First day of entries, for races on Opening Night, Nov. 22.

November 22 – Opening Night of the 142nd Thoroughbred Racing Season with Exotic Animal racing including camels, ostriches, and mascots. There will also be live music by The Chee Weez in the Clubhouse and DJ San-D in the trackside tent, plus local restaurant fare and drink specials.  First post is 3 p.m.

November 28 – Thanksgiving Day Racing with a nine-race card, featuring the $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap for top sprinters. First post is 11 a.m.

December 14 – Louisiana Champions Day Presented by Acadian Ambulance with 11 stakes for Louisiana-breds worth $1.1 million. First post is 12:30 p.m.

December 20 – Starlight Racing Presented by MillerCoors, Blue Moon, Absolut, Jameson, Royal Productions and Where Y’at with live music by Bucktown All-Stars in the Clubhouse and DJ Crush in the trackside tent, plus local restaurant fare and drink specials.

December 21 – Santa Super Saturday and Family Fun Day featuring four open-company stakes worth $300,000 and Holiday activities for families from Noon-4 p.m. Family Fun Day admission, $5. First post is 1 p.m.

January 6 – Clubhouse reservations open for Louisiana Derby Day (March 29). For reservations, call (504) 943-2200

January 17 – Starlight Racing Presented by MillerCoors, Blue Moon, Absolut, Jameson, Royal Productions and Where Y’at with live music by Groovy 7 in the Clubhouse and DJ Digital in the trackside tent, plus local restaurant fare and drink specials.

January 18 – 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.  First post is 12:30 p.m.

February 7 – Starlight Racing Presented by MillerCoors, Blue Moon, Absolut, Jameson, Royal Productions and Where Y’at, featuring Team Ghost Riders, with live music by The TopCats in the Clubhouse and DJ San-D in the trackside tent, local restaurant fare and drink specials.

February 15 – Live racing featuring wiener dog races.

February 22 – Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford
with five stakes worth $975,000, topped by the Grade II Risen Star Stakes for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. First post is 12:30 p.m.

March 4 – Mardi Gras Day, a Fair Grounds tradition with live racing, including the featured $75,000 Mardi Gras stakes for top female sprinters on the Stall-Wilson turf course. First post is 1:00 p.m.

March 14 – Starlight Racing Presented by MillerCoors, Blue Moon, Absolut, Jameson, Royal Productions and Where Y’at, with live music by The Mixed Nuts in the Clubhouse and DJ Kemistry in the trackside tent, local restaurant fare and drink specials.

March 29 – Louisiana Derby Day, annually Louisiana’s richest racing program, with seven stakes worth $2.51 million, including four Grade II events, topped by the 101st running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby for horses hoping to move on to the Kentucky Derby.

March 30 – Closing Day