08/15/2016 11:47AM

Fair Grounds offers 11 stakes during 10-date Quarter Horse meet


Fair Grounds in New Orleans will pack 11 stakes races into its 10-date meet for Quarter Horses that opens Wednesday. The season runs through Sept. 3.

New Orleans has been spared from the flooding that engulfed the Baton Rouge, La., area last week, and as of Monday, the 12-race opener at Fair Grounds was on, according to Scott Jones, assistant racing secretary for the Quarter Horse meet.

“We’re good,” Jones said. “We were not affected. We had lots of rain but no flooding here.”

Jones said Fair Grounds drew 115 horses for the LQHBA Sale Futurity trials, up from the typical 95 to 100 head. The purse for the finale will be at least $300,000, he said. The race will be run Sept. 3 as part of a program of five stakes worth a total of more than $460,000.

Other highlights of the Fair Grounds stakes schedule include a stakes triple on Aug. 20, led by the Grade 3, $50,000 Treme.

The meet’s purse structure for overnight races is projected to average $125,000 a day, according to Jones. The figure does not include stakes monies to be distributed. 

Fair Grounds will race Thursdays through Saturdays following Wednesday’s opener. First post will be 12:30 p.m. Central except on Aug. 20 and Aug. 27, when the races will start at 3 p.m. The later post is scheduled to accommodate special ontrack events, including exhibition ostrich and zebra races on Aug. 27.

This meet marks the ninth annual Quarter Horse season put on by Fair Grounds.