Home of the Louisiana Derby

Fair Grounds Cancels Thursday Program

NEW ORLEANS, La. (December 11, 2008) - Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has canceled its live racing program Thursday because of winter weather and track conditions.

Snow began falling in the metro New Orleans area Thursday morning. New Orleans is under a winter storm warning.

"Safety, both for equine and humans, is always going to take first priority," said Fair Grounds president Austin Miller.

The cancellation has no effect on Fair Grounds' OTB operations, which will continue throughout the day, including at Fair Grounds. The track's slots facility also remains open.

It is Fair Grounds' first winter weather cancellation since 1989.

Fair Grounds racing secretary Jason Boulet said Thursday's canceled races would be brought back as extra races beginning Dec. 18, with horses entered Thursday receiving priority. In addition, the track will offer 11-race cards from Dec. 18-22 to make up for Thursday's canceled races.

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.