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Free Events All Day Long on Santa Super Saturday

This Saturday’s stakes extravaganza known as Santa Super Saturday will be complemented by a full slate of free activities for all Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots visitors, from casual fans to families to everyday horseplayers. Before the races, there’s a Horse Ownership Seminar with trainer Bret Calhoun at 9:30 a.m. and a Fan Education Seminar with handicapper Gary West at 11:30 a.m. During the races, stop by the trackside tent to have a photo taken with Santa Claus and enjoy other holiday-themed activities as part of the Fair Grounds Winter Wonderland.

A 12-race program kicks off at 12:40 p.m. CST and the Winter Wonderland runs from Noon to 4 p.m.

Here are details on all of the Santa Super Saturday happenings at Fair Grounds:

Horse Ownership Seminar with Bret Calhoun, 9:30-11 a.m., Black Gold Room
Learn how easy and surprisingly affordable it can be to own a Thoroughbred racehorse by hearing from the horsemen who know best. Bret Calhoun, the sixth-leading trainer in North America by both wins and earnings and a two-time Breeders’ Cup winner this year, and Rob Byrne, Louisiana-based ownership syndicate manager, will address the crowd and take questions. Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Secretary/Treasurer Roger Heitzmann III also will be available for questions. Saturday’s seminar, the second in a series of three this season, will be held in the Black Gold Room on the second floor of the Derby Building, across from the 1/16-mile pole. Guests will enjoy complimentary coffee and pastries while taking in the sights and sounds of morning training hours for the first half-hour before the guest speakers begin at 10 a.m.

Fan Education Seminar with Gary West, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Phoenix Room
Veteran turf writer and handicapper Gary West will kick off a new Fan Education series with a free hour-long seminar before the races. “Spicy Odds, Sharp Horses and Black Swans: Winning Strategies at the Racetrack” will cover both basic handicapping principles as well as advanced approaches to turning a long-term profit. West, born and reared in New Orleans, covers horse racing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The seminar is set for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room on the third floor of the Grandstand. The monthly Fan Education series will continue on every graded stakes day: Road to the Derby Kickoff Day on Jan. 22, Louisiana Derby Preview Day on Feb. 19 and Louisiana Derby Day on March 26.

Santa Super Saturday Live Racing with Five Stakes Races, First post 12:40 p.m., Fair Grounds
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is giving horseplayers the gift they really want this holiday season – high quality, competitive stakes racing. The 12-race card on Santa Super Saturday Presented by Daily Racing Form features five open-company stakes races, as well as several undercard races with full fields. First post is 12:40 p.m. CST. The presents don’t stop there, though. Fair Grounds is also giving its players an additional Pick Four to ponder. In addition to the usual Early Pick Four starting on Race 2 and the Late Pick Four on the final four races, there’s also a special Santa Super Pick Four on Races 7-10, encompassing an allowance/optional claimer going long on the turf with 14 entrants, the two-turn Tenacious Handicap, the Bonapaw Stakes for turf sprinters, and the Sugar Bowl Stakes for 2-year-olds. It’s a challenging sequence but it could be the gift that keeps on giving if you handicap wisely! Grandstand general admission is free. For Clubhouse or reserved seat reservations call (504) 943-2200.

Fair Grounds Winter Wonderland, Noon-4 p.m., Trackside Tent
Have your photo taken with Santa Claus and his elves at the Fair Grounds Winter Wonderland from Noon to 4 p.m. in the trackside tent. Other holiday-themed, family-friendly activities include a Sugar Cookie Decorating Workshop and Face Painting. All ages are welcome and admission to the Winter Wonderland is free!

For more information on any of these events, visit FairGroundsRaceCourse.com or call (504) 944-5515.