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10 Things you should know about the Louisiana Derby

The Louisiana Derby is one of the most beloved horse races in the United States. If you are planning a visit to the Fair Grounds then make sure that you do your research beforehand as there are several things that you should know. While there are horse races to bet on, you should fully enjoy visiting New Orleans too for the food and further gambling options. For the latest TVG horse racing odds keep checking the website as they do get updated regularly. 

The race has been held at several locations

The first name for the Louisiana Derby was the Crescent City Derby when it was first run in 1894. That’s down to New Orleans occasionally being known as the Crescent City and the race was held at Crescent City Race Course. The Louisiana Derby was then moved to Jefferson Park but found its true home at Fair Grounds from 1932. There have been some years when the race has not been held at Fair Grounds due to the Second World War and damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Its largest field

In the 1954 Louisiana Derby, a total of 17 horses ran. That’s the record for the largest field to run the race. That edition of the Louisiana Derby was eventually won by Gigantic, an appropriately named horse if ever there was one.

Pick number seven

If you are struggling to decide on which horse to bet on, even after checking the latest odds, go for number 7. While you may be tempted simply to go by the name, heading for the best number may be a good bet. Some research has shown that number 7 is the post position that has enjoyed the most success in the Louisiana Derby and could come up trumps again.

There’s a fashion contest

Dress your best as there are gift certificates to be won in the fashion contest. Though dressing in your finest is one of the favored pastimes for going to the races, there is a contest for the Best Dressed Male and Female at the Louisiana Derby. That typically means the finest hats, dresses, and suits you can find if you want to take home a prize. 

Several food options to choose from

If you want to enjoy some food while watching the Louisiana Derby then there are several restaurants to choose from. One of the best is likely to be the Gentilly Grill which has some po’boys and gumbo on offer. You can also get a cocktail though if you do not quite fancy the local Cajun food, you can enjoy some burgers, wraps, and salads while there is also PJ’s Sweet Slots for cookies, croissants, and muffins. 

On the concession stands, you can enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, or red beans. Though for the upscale experience, head to Clubhouse Dining which is on the 4th floor and has five levels of seating with a view of the racing. While watching the horses, enjoy a glass and some of the regions best dishes. To make a memento of your day, take a commemorative glass home with you.

Enjoy the flowers beforehand

Those that do get to visit the Louisiana Derby typically make a visit to City Park in New Orleans. At this time of the year, the tulips are in bloom and that creates quite a sight to behold. The city of Louisiana is well-known for its sports and you can also partake in some fishing while in the park.

Arrange your tickets prior to going

To make sure you get into your favorite spots at the Louisiana Derby, plan ahead. You can reserve your spot at the race by getting your ticket online. 

Try the cajun food

As the Louisiana Derby is held in New Orleans, you better bet there’s some delicious Cajun food on offer. As a visitor to the region, try the Jambalaya, Gumbo, Crawfish Étouffée, and Shrimp Boil. There are several options at the Fair Grounds themselves yet there are restaurants close by that are worth sampling once the races are done.

Head to the casino after

Once you have seen the horses, you can put on a few more bets. There are some great spots for a gamble including the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter.

A decade without the Louisiana Derby

It may be quite worrying but there was a whole ten years when there were no Louisiana Derbies were run. This was between 1909 and 1919 as horse racing was not allowed, at the time it was outlawed in the state. 


The Louisiana Derby is one of the best races to visit, purely for its prestige and location. Held in New Orleans, get your tickets early and plan ahead to make the most of your trip as there are more than just horse races to experience. You could partake in the Fashion Contest, enjoy a drink at the bar, some delicious Cajun food, and head to a casino after. While in New Orleans, you should also enjoy the flowers in the City Park but if you do put a bet on, maybe go for number 7.