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Fair Grounds 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season to Open Thanksgiving Day

LSRC Approves 84-Day Meet, Nov. 22 to March 31; Five-Day Weeks in March

NEW ORLEANS – The 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will encompass 84 live racing days, from Nov. 22, 2012 to March 31, 2013. The dates were approved at Monday's quarterly meeting of the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

The Thoroughbred Racing Season again starts with the traditional Thanksgiving Day opener on Nov. 22. In the only significant change from last season's schedule, racing will be conducted four days per week (except holiday weeks), Thursdays to Sundays, through February. In March racing expands to five days per week, Wednesdays to Sundays. In recent years the season started with five-day weeks before shifting to four-day weeks.

"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."

Outside of the normal weekly schedule, special holiday cards will be presented on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, a Monday), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21, a Monday), Mardi Gras (February 12, a Tuesday) and Washington's Birthday, also known as Presidents Day (Feb. 18, a Monday).

There will be no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, when Super Bowl XLVII will be hosted in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The milestone 100th Louisiana Derby will be run as part of the meet's penultimate card on March 30, a Saturday, five weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby. Closing Day, March 31, coincides with Easter Sunday.

About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The fourth Summer Quarter Horse Meet runs August 15 through September 1. The 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season runs Thanksgiving Day, November 22, through March 31, 2013, highlighted by the milestone 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby for Kentucky Derby hopefuls on March 30, 2013. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

 
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