Thanksgiving Races in NOLA
Dreary weather did not deter a packed crowd from filling the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to the rafters on Thanksgiving Day.
As in years past, the day leading up to the 99th running of the Thanksgiving Classic brought out patrons in their Thanksgiving Day best (and intentionally worst) to appreciate family and friends while enjoying a day at the races, as noted in "T-Day at the Races" (Where Y'at, November 2023).
Thanksgiving day at the Fair Grounds is similar to "Thurby"—the locals' day at the races the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby in Louisville—at Churchill Downs (which also owns The Fair Grounds), but the holiday brings people together for more than a horse race, and New Orleans sensibilities had the spectators leading the contest in fashion forward frivolity.
Miles Ahead convincingly captured the $200,000 prize during the Thanksgiving Classic, winning by over four lengths. The ninth race had Super Ocho to show (2nd), with Kavod to place (3rd). Actor John Goodman was in the winner's circle to present the trophy.
But regardless if they put money down on a race or not, betting on fun & frivolity over overcast skies and cooler temperatures was a wager that was won by all in attendance.