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Wednesday Racing Kicks Off Holiday Schedule

Christmas comes but once a year, and this year it falls this Saturday, so there will be no racing at Fair Grounds Saturday on Christmas Day.

Also, there will be no racing at Fair Grounds this Friday, allowing Fair Grounds guests as well as employees of the Crescent City oval to enjoy time with their families on Christmas Eve.

However, because of the rare Friday and Saturday dark days at Fair Grounds this week, there will be live racing offered Wednesday, December 22 and Thursday, December 23, with first post time for the two 10-race programs at 12:40 p.m. before New Orleans Thoroughbred racing shuts down briefly for the holiday season.

Racing will resume Sunday, December 26 as Fair Grounds returns to its normal schedule with its regular first race post time of 12:40 p.m.

ROSIE’S FOUR-WIN DAY SUNDAY TIES FOR LEAD – Following a four-win day Sunday at Fair Grounds, jockey Rosie Napravnik entered Monday’s racing day at Fair Grounds tied for the lead in the local jockey standings with Richard Eramia at 19 winners apiece.

Napravnik won Sunday’s second race aboard Half Moon Stable’s Ban Dan for trainer Theodore Arndt, the fourth on Duncan Lloyd’s Biorra for trainer Steve Margolis, the fifth on Tri-Star Racing’s Wajir on Me for trainer Wes Hawley and the sixth astride Dede McGehee’s Thruthegardengate for trainer Andy Leggio Jr.

INTRODUCING THE FAIR GROUNDS CUP – Fair Grounds Race Course hopes to bring in the New Year in fine fashion by introducing a new concept in handicapping contests called The Fair Grounds Cup. The contest will begin on Friday, January 14.

Should the contest attract the maximum number of 125 entries, the winner would receive $50,000 and the next five finishers would each receive $2,500.

The Fair Grounds Cup is a 50-day contest whereby the person who wagers the most on Fair Grounds races on a single entry is the winner. The contest begins on Jan. 14 and will run through the closing day of Fair Grounds’ Thoroughbred racing season on March 27, 2011, but handicappers may enter the contest at any time during its 50-day run.

The Fair Grounds Cup requires a $5,000 live bankroll which is purchased at time of entry, but there are no additional entry fees deducted from that bankroll.

To sign up, contact Jim Mulvihill, Communications and Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager, at (504) 948-1233 or james.mulvihill@fgno.com.

TRAINER MIKE MAKER LOOKING FORWARD – Prominent Thoroughbred trainer Mike Maker, who recorded 154 winners and $4,407,924 in earnings in 2009, has brought a string of 30 horses to Fair Grounds this winter and won his first race of the season locally when Rollin Fishback and Charles Logsdon’s Fist of Rage took down winning honors in the seventh race with jockey Robby Albarado in the irons.

On Monday, Maker had last spring’s Kentucky Oaks contestant Age of Humor, owned by Skychai Racing and Twin Creeks Farm, entered in the featured eighth race of the afternoon.

“We hope she’ll be a stakes horse for us again,” said Maker of the Distorted Humor filly who won Aqueduct’s $63,000 Busanda Stakes last winter and then finished third in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes on last season’s Louisiana Derby Preview Day.

“Mostly, the horses at Fair Grounds are young horses that we’re hoping will develop into stakes horses,” Maker said while speaking over the phone from Florida on Sunday morning.