03/11/2011 6:41PM

Fair Grounds raises stakes purses

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Fair Grounds announced purse increases for several stakes to be contested closing weekend of the ongoing meet, most notably a $100,000 hike in the Fair Grounds Oaks. The Grade 2 Oaks on March 26 was bumped from $400,000 to $500,000.

The other major race affected by the purse increase was the Mervin Muniz, which was raised from $350,000 to $400,000. The Muniz had been a $500,000 race before mid-meet purse cuts last season reduced it to $300,000.

Fair Grounds also will offer a $75,000 purse, rather than $60,000, for three stakes -- the Costa Rising, Red Camelia, and Bayou St. John -- on Friday, March 25.
Finally, the track also announced a 25-percent bonus on closing-weekend overnight stakes in which 10 or more horses leave the paddock.

Five-dollar admission on Louisiana Derby Day

Fair Grounds has charged nothing for raceday general admission this season, but announced this week that a $5 admission charge will be imposed on Louisiana Derby Day. Admission to the clubhouse on March 26 will be $10. The track said it will donate $1 from every admission payment to Children's Hospital.