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Starlight Racing Will Shine in Any Weather

After days of abnormally low temperatures in New Orleans, warmer weather has settled over the Crescent City just in time for Fair Grounds’ initial Starlight Racing Program Friday night – the first of three such nighttime racing programs scheduled for the 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Season at the nation’s third-oldest racecourse.

Local weather forecasters say that along with the warmer temperatures there is also some chance of rain Friday, but Fair Grounds has prepared for that – assuring that the party will go on rain or shine and that partygoers will be completely protected from the elements.

Even if the stars in the heavens don’t twinkle Friday at dark, equine stars such as past Louisiana Derby veterans Flying Pegasus and Unbridled Vicar will be visible during the evening’s races, which begin at 5 p.m.

The Miller Beer Garden chalet has been installed on the grandstand apron and can be completely enclosed if necessary and there will a covered walkway to ensure dry access from the grandstand building. If the showers stay away, those in attendance there can get up close and personal with the horses as they parade along the rail.

Charbroiled oysters from the Drago’s Fire Engine and specialty fare from Messina’s, lounge seating and cabana-style seating, premium Martinis and Cosmos, $1 Miller and $2 Abita drafts will also be featured in the Beer Garden along with live dancers on pedestals, themed lighting and five high-definition plasma TV monitors that will be part of the enclosure where guests can “see and be seen.”

As if the evening needed more glamour, members of the New Orleans Hornets’ Honeybees Dance Team will be on hand, mingling with the crowd and talking about the local NBA franchise’s recent hot streak.

Upstairs in the main building, on Clubhouse levels 4 and 5, the “dress-to-impress crowd” will enjoy high visibility in the Starlight UltraLounge, which will also offer first-come, first-served semi-private cabana-style seating with themed décor, dancers on pedestals wearing jockey silks, and musical entertainment from  popular New Orleans band The Wise Guys. That venue will also have access to an enhanced Starlight Racing Clubhouse menu by Chef Ray Dederian, the aforementioned Drago’s and Messina’s fare as well as the fashionable Finlandia Cosmos, our signature Martinis and also Gentleman Jack Tea.