11/09/2015 3:13PM

Changes in Fair Grounds front office

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Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans has a new look in its administrative hierarchy for its 2015-16 racing season.

General manager Howard “H” Withers departed this past summer after two seasons on the job, and Fair Grounds will no longer have a distinct general manager position. Jason Boulet retains his job as racing secretary but has been promoted to senior director of racing, with Brad Bryant now the senior director of operations. Bryant’s focus, according to track president Tim Bryant, will be on “front-of-the-house” functions like pari-mutuels and guest services.

While Boulet remains racing secretary, his expanded responsibilities figures to carve out a greater role for assistant racing secretary Scott Jones.

After trending down for several seasons, Fair Grounds had a bounce-back 2014-15 meet in great part because of a revitalized turf course. The historic New Orleans track begins an 81-day meet on Nov. 19, but local patrons still consider Thanksgiving the de facto official opening day of the racing season.