New Orleans Fair Grounds

A Wild Time At The Races

Jan 13, 2013
Dionne Grayson / WWNO

There were a few unfamiliar steeds at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Saturday night — exotic animal trainer Joe Hedrick brought some ostriches and zebras to the track to fill out the race card for the second installment of the Struthio Stakes.

It was the first-ever zebra race in the South, and the biggest crowd at the track since Hurricane Katrina, according to track spokesman Jim Mulvihill.

For that lull in activity in New Orleans between Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, a new event will debut next year. The Fair Grounds will be opening up the infield to mark the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Derby.

James Mulvihill / New Orleans Fair Grounds

This weekend marks the debut of the 20-12 Horse of the Year at the Fair Grounds. The 5-year-old mare Havre de Grace (hah-vrah deh grace) is in a field of five for Saturday’s New Orleans Ladies race.