(The Fair Grounds / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

The Fair Grounds Winter / Spring Race Meeting, which was scheduled to run through March 29, will be cut short and will be finished after racing is concluded today, March 21, and the running of the G2 Louisiana Derby.

“The Pressbox” was able to confirm the news this afternoon with several key racetrack officials.

It is the latest action to help prevent the spread of the pandemic COVID-19 outbreak, which has swept across the globe over the past few months, and, most recently, has reached these United States.

According to our contacts with the racetrack, horses will be able to stay in their stalls on the backside of the historic racetrack located in New Orleans.

This is critically important news, especially considering that many racing jurisdictions have cancelled current race meets and will be cancelling some upcoming race meets. In addition, many barn areas that are normally open at this time of year are still closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Louisiana State Racing Commission met on March 20 — by teleconference — and passed an emergency order that will enable the horses and horsemen to stay in place. The new regulation will be in effect for a minimum of 30 days. This will also provide horsemen and the horses access to the track for exercise and works on a minimum of “every other day” basis.