Louisiana Derby Day Nominations Released

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Media Relations
[email protected]

New Orleans, La (March. 13, 2024) – Louisiana Derby Day is Saturday, March 23 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the nominations to all eight stakes events on the card have been released.

Headlined by the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) and $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), stakes purses total $2.7 million on the day. These preps for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Kentucky Oaks offer 100-50-25-15-10 qualifying points to the top five finishers.         

The 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby, which fielded 71 nominations, is expected to include the place and show finishers from the Risen Star (G2) in Track Phantom and Catching Freedom. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Track Phantom won both the Lecomte (G3) and the Gun Runner ahead of getting nailed at the Risen Star wire by Sierra Leone. Catching Freedom won January’s Smarty Jones at Oaklawn for trainer Brad Cox.

Honor Marie (trained by Whit Beckman), stablemates Antiquarian and Agate Road (Todd Pletcher), Hall of Fame (Asmussen), Awesome Ruta (Joey Foster), Tuscan Gold (Chad Brown) and both Real Men Violin and Common Defense (Ken McPeek) are also expected to enter.

The field for the Louisiana Derby with starting gate assignments and morning line odds will be revealed during the Louisiana Derby Draw Show on Saturday, March 16 at 11:15 a.m. CT. The Louisiana Derby Draw Show will take place in the paddock and be broadcast on Fair Grounds simulcast, YouTube, and X (@fairgroundsnola). Joe Kristufek and John Dooley will host and be joined by morning line oddsmaker Mike Diliberto & racing analyst Kevin Kilroy. Following the post-position draw, the connections on hand and members of the Fair Grounds management team will be available for interviews.

Louisiana Derby Day will feature an early first post of 12:00 p.m. CT. Post positions for the entire March 23 card, which also includes the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) presented by Relyne GI by Hagyard, the $300,000 Muniz Memorial (G2) presented by Horse Racing Nation, the $150,000 Tom Benson Stakes, the $100,000 Costa Rising Stakes, the $125,000 Crescent City Derby, and the $125,000 Crescent City Oaks will also be drawn on Saturday, March 16. 

Fair Grounds’ 152nd meet will come to a close on Sunday, March 24. Three Louisiana-bred stakes will be run on that day. Nominations for all 11 closing weekend stakes can be found here: https://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorsemenAreaSNHW.cfm?trk=FG.


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 16 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 152nd Thoroughbred Racing Season–highlighted by the 111th running of the Louisiana Derby–will run from Nov. 17, 2023 through March 24, 2024. More information is available online at www.fgno.com.