03/27/2004 1:00AM

Fair Grounds gets new deadline

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The deadline for Fair Grounds to file a reorganization plan in bankruptcy court was moved late last week from Monday to April 15.

Fair Grounds declared bankruptcy last spring to shelter itself from the effects of a lawsuit filed and won by the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. A year ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of the LHBPA, and on

March 22, a district court judge ruled that Fair Grounds owed the horsemen's group almost $90 million in damages. The judgment was based on revenue from video poker machines that the Supreme Court ruled Fair Grounds should have directed to the track's purse account.

Fair Grounds has appealed the judgment, and also has filed a suit claiming that the state holds responsibility for the damages. That suit contends Fair Grounds simply followed directions given by the state in taking deductions from the poker machines.