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Fair Grounds Announces Purse Increase, New Stakes12 December 2005
BOSSIER CITY, Louisiana -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Fair Grounds Race Course announced today an 18-percent increase to its purse schedule and five new stakes races for Louisiana-breds.
Overnight purses will feature an increase of $4,000 per race, effective with the card of Thursday, Dec. 15.
The closing weekend of Fair Grounds' 134th season has been labeled "Louisiana Lagniappe Weekend" and will feature six $75,000 stakes for state-breds, including five first-time events: the Louisiana Lagniappe Sprint and Louisiana Lagniappe Ladies on Jan. 21, and the Louisiana Lagniappe Ladies Sprint, Louisiana Lagniappe Classic and Crescent City Oaks on Jan. 22. The Crescent City Derby on Jan. 21 remains on the schedule, while the Crescent City Oaks replaces the Battler Star in the 3-year-old filly division.
Three Louisiana-bred stakes next month have also received $25,000 purse increases to $75,000: the Red Camelia on Jan. 7 and the Dixie Poker Ace on Jan. 8.
The changes will increase purses to an average of approximately $370,000 per day, the largest ever for a meet in Louisiana.
The purse increase was implemented due to continued better than expected business levels at five Fair Grounds affiliated off-track betting ("OTB") facilities in the New Orleans area that reopened on Oct. 26. Fair Grounds Race Course and five other OTBs remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Fair Grounds' 37-day race meet at its temporary host site, Harrah's Louisiana Downs, continues with the $1 million Louisiana Champions Day for state-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses on Saturday.