NEW ORLEANS (press release) – With the culmination of its 150th Thoroughbred racing season, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has set the stage for an amazing day of the highest quality horse racing in the country and an enjoyable social experience. A strong field of nine 3-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls has been entered for Saturday’s 109th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (Grade II) presented by In addition to the purse money, the top four finishers will earn coveted points (100-40-20-10) on the road to the 148th Kentucky Derby (Grade I) presented by Woodford Reserve, to be run Saturday, May 7, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

“This year has been very special to us as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the track. We are very excited to welcome fans back to enjoy the racing of the Louisiana Derby which continues to be one of the most popular and historical events that New Orleans has to offer. The talent that will be on display by our jockey team as well as the Thoroughbreds is unparalleled in our state.” said President of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Doug Shipley. 

In addition, the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) will offer the same number of points enroute to the Longines® Kentucky Oaks (Grade I). The Fair Grounds Oaks features the return of the undefeated champion two-year old filly of 2021, Echo Zulu, who is the current favorite for the Longines Kentucky Oaks.  Other graded stakes on the 12-race program include the New Orleans Handicap (Grade II) and the Mervin H. Muniz, Jr. Memorial Classic presented by Horse Racing Nation (Grade II). First post for Louisiana Derby Day program is 12:00 p.m. CDT, one hour earlier than the typical 1:05 p.m. CDT first go.

Culminating with the $1 million Louisiana Derby presented by (scheduled post time 5:44 p.m. CDT), the quartet of Grade II stakes will be run consecutively (races 9-12) and comprise a $500,000 guaranteed All Stakes Pick Five.  

Food and Fun

Experience the fan favorite of Fair Grounds Corn beef and Cabbage or visit local fare by food truck vendors on the apron featuring: Copelands, Diva Dawg, The Gourmet Snack and Sneaux LA will be near the apronproviding snowballs

Messina’s will be proving their award winning buffet services in both the Club House dining room as well as the Black Gold room for table reservations. 

Special Programming Notes

  • Entertainment
    • New Orleans Police Department Mounted Patrol will present the American Flag for the National Anthem adjacent to the Winner’s Circle promptly at 11:30 a.m.
    • American Idol contestant from season 18 and 20, Faith Becnel will sing the national Anthem. 

Admission and Valet Parking

  • Grandstand and the Derby Day Tent Experience General Admission is $5. Clubhouse admission is $20.  Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free to all areas.  Clubhouse dining reservations and daily Box rentals are sold out, however, general seating is available in both the clubhouse and grandstand area on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Special Event Valet Parking prices are in effect for the day.  Regular valet parking is $20 and Premium Valet Parking is $30.