06/20/2008 12:00AM

Fair Grounds to run Quarter Horse meeting


Fair Grounds will run its first Quarter Horse meet in August, the New Orleans track announced Thursday.

State legislation that brought slot machines to Louisiana racetracks requires the racing venues to host Quarter Horse meets to help divide slot-machine revenue between different breeds in the state.

Fair Grounds, which began slot-machine operations last September and is in the process of building a permanent parlor, was the last of the state's tracks to operate slots. Randy Soth, the track's president, said in a statement that revenue from the machines in the temporary parlor was only great enough to host a short five-day meet this year. Soth added that future meets could be longer as slot revenue increase at the track.

The meet will run from Aug. 20 to Aug. 24, with 10 races daily, with post time at 3 p.m. The August dates were selected, Soth said in the release, to avoid conflict with the Thoroughbred meet in the fall, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in the spring.

While Fair Grounds hosts several Quarter Horse races each meet, and used to stage trials for certain Quarter Horse races, this will be the first time the 138-year-old facility has played host to an entire Quarter Horse meet.