Countdown To Quarter Horse Meet Underway

NEW ORLEANS, La. (August 11, 2008) - Live racing at Fair Grounds, usually reserved for the winter, is about to be part of the New Orleans summer.

The track's inaugural Quarter Horse meet is little more than a week away, on Aug. 20-24. First post each day is 3 p.m. CDT.

Nominations closed Aug. 4 for the meet's five stakes races, and entries are being accepted this week for all five days of racing. The opening-day card attracted the maximum 98 horses.

Patrons visiting Fair Grounds during the Quarter Horse meet will enjoy race-day specials, including $1 draft beer, hamburgers and red beans and rice. On Aug. 23, Lafayette-based country band Avery Michaels and Exit 209 will perform on the third floor of the grandstand from 5-9 p.m.

Racing fans and horsemen seeking a higher-end experience can enjoy a special race-day buffet on the second floor of the slots facility for $25 per person. The buffet will be served from 3:30-6:30 p.m. The buffet area is for those age 21 and older.

Fair Grounds has partnered with the New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway to offer horsemen and racing fans two options for coming to the Crescent City for the meet. A room-only rate is $89 per night, while a package including breakfast and Fair Grounds specials is $119 per night. For reservations, call 1-888-236-2427 (or click on one of the links). Ask for either the New Orleans Fair Grounds rate (room only) or the New Orleans Fair Grounds Package rate (room plus breakfast and specials).

In addition to the Marriott, other partners for the Quarter Horse meet include Miller Lite, the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.

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 will be preceded by its inaugural Quarter Horse meet from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.