04/20/2011 2:06PM

Fair Grounds gets OK for 2011-12 schedule


The request by Fair Grounds for an 84-day 2011-2012 Thoroughbred race meet was approved by the Louisiana State Racing Commission on Monday, with the track dropping Monday racing in favor of Wednesdays next season.

The 2011-12 Fair Grounds meet will span Nov. 24 to April 1, starting with the traditional Thanksgiving Day opener that was reestablished this past season after a two-year hiatus. Five-day racing weeks, from Wednesday through Sunday, will be employed during December and January, with the schedule shifting to Thursday through Sunday from Feb. 1 through the end of the racing season. The track’s closing weekend coincides with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, which is to be held in New Orleans next year.

Fair Grounds has not yet settled on a date for the 2012 Louisiana Derby. The 2011 running featured Fair Grounds’ first $1 million purse and was contested six weeks from the Kentucky Derby.

Fair Grounds also will host a 12-day Quarter Horse meeting from Sept. 7 to 24.