Home of the Louisiana Derby

Welcome ... And Get Ready For Saturday

Welcome to the new fairgroundsracecourse.com. I'll have periodic insight about Fair Grounds and racing in general here on our new Web site.

What perfect timing for this new site to launch, as this is a great time for the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The sport will be front and center this Saturday in Elmont, N.Y., as Big Brown attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years in the Belmont Stakes.

A couple of horses who wintered in New Orleans will be among those trying to knock Big Brown from the ranks of the unbeaten and the immortal - Macho Again, who was second in the Preakness, and Denis of Cork, who was third in the Kentucky Derby.

What does that mean? It shows the depth of racing each winter at Fair Grounds. Sometimes, you have to play close attention to more than the stakes program.

Macho Again, trained by New Orleans native Dallas Stewart, and Denis of Cork, conditioned by David Carroll, each won once at Fair Grounds early in their 3-year-old seasons, and both wins came in allowance races.

Remember this time six years ago, when War Emblem was in Big Brown's shoes, gunning for history? He too won at the Fair Grounds meet, also in a first-level allowance.

Carroll will give a leg up to Robby Albarado, who just missed in the Belmont aboard Curlin last year. A win there, and we'd be talking about a five-race Triple Crown winning streak for Louisiana-born jockeys - Calvin Borel in the 2007 Kentucky Derby on Street Sense, Albarado on Curlin in last year's Preakness, and Kent Desormeaux this year on Big Brown.

We welcome your comments and questions about the quality of racing here last winter. And remember, if you're wagering on the Belmont, you can get an early start. All Fair Grounds OTB locations will offer advance wagering on Friday, June 6.