08/17/2004 12:00AM

2005 Louisiana dates awarded


Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., will have its earliest start date since 1996 next year, opening for 93 days of Thoroughbred racing on April 29. The meet, which will run through Oct. 9, was approved by the Louisiana Racing Commission on Monday.

The commission also awarded Evangeline Downs an 88-date meet for Thoroughbreds in 2005, from April 7 through Sept. 5. Evangeline will move to its new home in Opelousas, La., next year. Evangeline received approval to run a limited number of Quarter Horses races during that meet, beginning on Aug. 21.

In other dates developments, Fair Grounds in New Orleans received approval for the addition of Jan. 1, 2005, to its racing calendar for the upcoming meet that runs from November 2004 to March 2005. In the past, the track had not raced on New Year's Day.