04/20/2007 12:00AM

Louisiana sets winter dates


The Louisiana Racing Commission on Friday awarded dates for meets at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and Delta Downs in Vinton, La. The panel awards dates twice a year, with the calendar for the state's winter Thoroughbred meets heard in April.

Fair Grounds was awarded an 81-date meet from Nov. 22, 2007, through March 23, 2008. Delta Downs was granted a 93-date meet for Thoroughbreds, from Oct. 19, 2007, to March 29, 2008. Delta will not race on Thanksgiving, opening day at Fair Grounds

Also on Friday, the commission upheld a six-month suspension handed down to trainer Cole Norman in December after Bayou de Storm, the fourth-place finisher in the $150,000 Jean Lafitte Futurity at Delta Downs on Nov.o3, tested in excess of the permitted levels of total carbon dioxide. It was Norman's second offense, following a positive with Go Poppa Fooze, the winner of the Jean Lafitte.

Norman had appealed both rulings, but dropped that appeal in a letter dated March 28, and the commission ruled Friday that his six months would start from that date. The purse money earned by Go Poppa Fooze and Bayou de Storm, who were both disqualified, will be redistributed. Norman appeared before the commission on Friday.