Fifty-one stakes worth a combined $7.055 million will be offered during Fair Grounds's upcoming 76-day 2020-21 Thoroughbred racing season, which is set to begin Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, the track announced Monday.
“We are proud to once again continue our growth and support of the Thoroughbred racing industry with our purse allocations and this diverse and dynamic stakes schedule” said Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots president Doug Shipley. “We look forward to our 149th racing season and the continuation of bringing many of the best horsemen and jockeys from around the world to enjoy the high caliber racing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.”
The Louisiana Derby Day card Mar. 20 will feature eight stakes worth a total of $2.425 million, including the 108th running of the $1-million GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby for 3-year-olds. The third and final local prep on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby, the race is worth 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the 53rd running of the $400,000 GII Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies offers the same number of points en route to the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks.
The other preps at the New Orleans oval for the Derby will take place Jan. 16 with the GIII Lecomte S. and Feb. 13 with the GII Risen Star S. Louisiana Champions Day will be held Dec. 14, featuring 10 stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds. The purse for the opening day Thanksgiving Classic for older male sprinters has been increased $25,000 to $125,000.
The 2020-2021 Fair Grounds racing season runs through Sunday, Mar. 28. Regular post time will be 1 p.m. CT. The exceptions are Louisiana Derby Preview Day (Feb. 13 at noon CT) and Louisiana Derby Day (Mar. 20 at 11 a.m. CT).