04/15/2008 12:00AM

Fair Grounds opens earlier

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Fair Grounds plans to expand its racing meet by two weeks next season and begin it prior to Thanksgiving for the first time in nearly 30 years, according to a track release Tuesday.

The 2008-09 racing season at Fair Grounds, its 137th, will begin on Friday, Nov. 14, the earliest starting date on record. The 87-day meet will continue through March 29, 2009. The meet had traditionally begun on Thanksgiving.

Fair Grounds submitted its racing calendar to the Louisiana State Racing Commission on Tuesday, and the commission will consider it for approval at its meeting on Friday.