Home of the Louisiana Derby

FG To Host 'Big Easy Bucks' Handicapping Challenge March 21

NEW ORLEANS, La (February 13, 2009) - After hosting one of the final qualifying tournaments for the National Handicapping Championship for nine years, Fair Grounds moves to a new spot on the calendar with a new format next month.

The inaugural "Big Easy Bucks" Handicapping Challenge, scheduled for Saturday, March 21, will include a $500 entry fee and $3,000 buy-in. Tournament contestants will be required to wager a minimum of $300 on each of 10 Fair Grounds races.

Click here to download entry form and view rules.

The tournament field will be limited to 60 players, and the top three finishers, based on bankroll, will earn berths in the 2010 NHC in Las Vegas.

"Since the new date for our tournament was published last week, we have received dozens of calls and e-mails," said Fair Grounds vice president and general manager of racing Eric Halstrom. "Our new format is one of the most popular in the country, and we look forward to welcoming some of the nation's best handicappers to Fair Grounds next month."

Previously, Fair Grounds had hosted a tournament on the first weekend in December that was similar in format to the NHC, with $2 win-and-place bets on both mandatory and optional races.

Entry forms and rules are on Fair Grounds' website at fairgroundsracecourse.com.

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.