BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – It’s a new year and new season at northwest Louisiana’s historical horse racing site. Louisiana Downs and Casino is welcoming people to come and enjoy the races and new features.

Hooves hit the dirt for a race to the winner’s circle as the quarter-horse racing season gets underway with live meets over the next 45 days.

“It’s one of our favorite meets. We’ve got quarter horses galore, and it’s just great racing action,” said Roxanne Tanner, horse racing ambassador.

People can place bets on the ponies, watch live racing from across the country, try their luck inside the casino that offers new gaming options, and enjoy new eating and drinking locations.

“We just got two new food outlets here. We got our inside rail sports bar and grill. It’s great food if you are in the mood to watch a football game and eat some wings. Then we have Brew, which is our coffee and craft beer food outlet. Get your day going, then come back a little later and have a beer to celebrate the day,” Tanner said.

There’s fun for adults and kids as family-friendly events are offered throughout the season.

“We host family-fun days throughout the meet. We are doing a calendar giveaway on Saturday for all of our Club 74 members, and we will host some other family-fun adventures with bounce houses, food trucks, all that good stuff,” Tanner said.

Rubico Acquisition acquired Louisiana Downs in November of 2021, and Tanner said they have been adding new features and renovating.

“We’re all about improving racing here but also improving the casino. We have a number of new slot machines that we’ve added on the floor which is exciting. Get rid some of the old ones that are outdated and just excited about all the new we’re trying to bring in. We have a lot of capital improvements that we’re working on in transition with. Not only with the food outlets but also on the racing side whether it be new dorms on the backside or fixing road repairs,” Tanner said.

The historic track first opened in 1974 and hosted the famous Super Derby that brings in fans from across the country and the world. The owners, trainers, veterinarians, and barn workers make it all possible, which brings jobs and revenue to the city.

“We also get a small community of trainers that bring their barn help. The jockeys that come in from out of state. So it adds a whole other population to what we already have here,” Tanner said.

The quarter horse meet wraps up in April; then, the mighty thoroughbreds take the track in May before Kentucky Derby day. The exciting sport brings heart-pounding competition in an entertaining environment.

Louisiana Downs is also hiring for various new positions, including restaurants, tellers, and backside workers.