Fair Grounds Release: One Month and Counting to New Slots Facility, Racing Season

Tuesday, Oct. 14, marks exactly one month until one of the biggest days in Fair Grounds Race Course's storied history.

On Friday, Nov. 14, Fair Grounds will hold a morning ribbon-cutting as it unveils its new slot-machine gaming facility. That afternoon, the track will embark on its 137th season of Thoroughbred racing. Grand Opening Day will conclude with a VIP party in the evening.

While the temporary slots facility continues to operate, the final touches are being placed on the permanent facility, which will feature up to 700 games on a 15,000-square-foot floor, a 140-seat buffet and two "grab-and-go" dining options.

The new slots facility is on the southeast side of the property, near the public entrance at Gentilly Boulevard.

The racetrack has served as a training center for the last month. The backstretch will officially open Wednesday to those who will be stabled at the facility this winter.

This year's meet will feature record overnight purses of approximately $300,000 per day and a $6.6 million stakes schedule, headlined as always by the Grade II Louisiana Derby, which is scheduled for March 14, 2009.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.