The Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (1751 Gentilly Blvd., 944-5515; www.fairgroundsracecourse.com) doesn't start thoroughbred racing season until Thanksgiving, but there are events throughout the year designed to draw in people who are not die- hard railbirds.
The most extreme example is Saturday, when ostriches, camels and local sports team mascots will race on the track, while an international beer tasting called Tails & Ales takes place in the upper levels of the Fair Grounds clubhouse. Abita Brewing is sponsoring Tails & Ales, which promises craft and specialty beers from around the world. A VIP portion of the event includes special beers and food as well. The first exotic animal race is at 7:10 p.m., and Tails & Ales is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There are separate admissions for the races (which are open to all ages) and for Tails & Ales. For details, visit www.-fairgroundsracecourse.com.