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Apr 27, 2012

Fair Grounds race dates set for 141st season


New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Coming off a history making 2011-12 meeting, Fair Grounds Race Course has finalized its 141st season. The Big Easy track's 2012-13 race meet will begin Thanksgiving Day.

Fair Grounds Race Course will have 84 days of live racing starting with the Nov. 22 holiday and concluding on March 31. The 100th running of the Louisiana Derby will highlight the next to last program on March 30.

"Assigning more dates toward the end of the season allows us to take advantage of historically better weather in March, which we anticipate will result in a net increase in turf races," said Fair Grounds President Tim Bryant. "We also have found, for a number of reasons, that it's easier to attract large and competitive fields later in the meet. This shift should improve the quality of our product from day one."

Sunday, Feb. 3 will be a dark day at the track as not to conflict with Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played at the Superdome.

This year's Louisiana Derby was won by 109-1 longshot Hero of Order. Track officials said on-track wagering for the day of the 99th Louisiana Derby was up about 33 percent over the previous year.

"The centennial Louisiana Derby will be one to remember," said Bryant. "We have already started talking about fun ways to mark the special occasion and we look forward to welcoming back another record crowd next year."

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