09/07/2004 11:00PM

Fair Grounds filing new plan


Bankruptcy attorneys for the Fair Grounds Corporation were expected to file an amended Chapter 11 reorganization plan in court late Wednesday afternoon in New Orleans, according to Jan Hayden, an attorney working on the case. The filing sets the stage for a Sept. 24 court confirmation hearing on the plan, which has been amended to include an agreement for Churchill Downs Inc. to purchase the Fair Grounds assets for about $47 million.

Fair Grounds and CDI struck the deal just before midnight on Aug. 31, torpedoing the efforts of Thoroughbred owner Mike Pegram to gain control of Fair Grounds.

Fair Grounds filed for Chapter 11 protection in August 2003 but is close to emerging from bankruptcy. If the amended reorganization plan is approved, it will pave the way for the track to pay off a $25 million settlement it reached with the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The track declared bankruptcy because of a lawsuit filed and won by the horsemen's group, contending Fair Grounds had made improper deductions from revenue obtained from the track's video poker machines.

The CDI agreement provides for the horsemen's group to be paid in full on Oct. 15, the same day the CDI asset-purchase agreement is scheduled to close.