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All Fair Grounds Facilities Once Again Open Following Gustav

Updated Friday 9 a.m. 

NEW ORLEANS, La (September 4, 2008) - After a week-long phased process, Fair Grounds and all nine of its off-track betting facilities in southeast Louisiana have re-opened as of Friday, Sept. 12.

All facilities had been closed since Aug. 30 because of Hurricane Gustav.

The final sites to re-open were Fair Grounds OTB Casino locations in Houma and Thibodaux. Both are again open as of Friday morning, though they will close at 9 p.m. because of parish curfews as a result of Hurricane Ike.

The Elmwood Fair Grounds OTB Casino re-opened on Tuesday. The Boutte-Luling and LaPlace locations opened on Monday, while Kenner and Gretna locations each re-opened Sunday.

On Saturday, the slots facility and grandstand at Fair Grounds re-opened, along with the Metairie OTB.

The slots facility will open at its regular time of 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The grandstand will open at 11 a.m. every day except Tuesday for simulcasting.

The Covington Fair Grounds OTB was the first to re-open on Friday, Sept. 5.

"As our area returns home, we want to do our part to return to normalcy by giving our employees an opportunity to return to work and our loyal patrons a chance to enjoy their favorite Fair Grounds products," said Fair Grounds vice president and general manager Austin Miller.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.