Home of the Louisiana Derby

Zavala Named New Track Superintendent

Pedro Zavala has been named as the new track superintendent at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 26-year-old served as assistant track superintendent at Fair Grounds for the past five years following three years on the track crew at Arlington Park.

“As we interviewed candidates from around the world it became increasingly clear that the man for the job was the one who already knew our surfaces the best,” said Fair Grounds Vice President and General Manager Eric Halstrom. “Pedro has proven to be a knowledgeable, passionate and committed member of our team. His expertise has already been demonstrated this year in the way he has managed the dirt and turf courses since the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.”

Zavala has overseen the Fair Grounds’ one-mile dirt oval and seven-furlong Stall-Wilson Turf Course since shortly after the conclusion of the 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Season in March. He will continue supervising the installation of a new state-of-the-art sprinkler system for the turf course that will be in place in time for the 2010-2011 Thoroughbred Racing Season, which will open Thanksgiving Day, November 25.

Zavala, a native of Guanajuato, Mexico, has worked under three previous Fair Grounds track superintendents.

“At Fair Grounds you have some of the best horses in the world racing and training over your surfaces so it’s a real honor but also a huge responsibility,” Zavala said. “Our dirt track has a long reputation as a safe one that keeps horses sound and gets them unusually fit. That’s a reputation I intend to preserve.”

Live racing returns to Fair Grounds when the 10-day 2010 Quarter Horse Racing Season opens September 14. Later in the year, the track plays host to the Bank of America Challenge Championships on November 19 and the Thoroughbred season opens its 84-day stand on Thanksgiving.