Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

St. Louisans continue tradition of playing hooky at Fairmount Park

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KTVI) – Time is something they keep track of at Fairmount Park racetrack, especially on a horse hooky Tuesday.

'My husband and our friends are here,' says first timer Lauren Williamson.  'They played hooky last year and I wasn't able to come.  So I purposefully took off the day to come here.'

For many in the St. Louis metropolitan region, Tuesday has become a tradition of spending the day at the races in Collinsville, Illinois.

'We really started out the Tuesday afternoons as a vehicle to get our signal being taken by other tracks around the country,' says Brian Zander, President of Fairmont Park.  'That's a very important way for modern day race tracks to make some money.'

Since 1926 Fairmont had been known for horse racing on Friday and Saturday nights.

'We didn't know what kind of crowd to expect because like I said, for many years we've been a night time track,' says Zander.

But 20 years ago this summer, Fairmount decided to encourage others to spend the day, playing the ponies.

'I just pick them out by names not by odds.  I haven't won yet so I don't suggest that,' says Williamson.

Whether taking the day off or having vacation time to play hooky on a Tuesday, the odds of seeing a familiar face or voice are good in the gateway region.

'I love horse hooky on Tuesdays for a number of reasons but number one is for Jay Randolph,' says Cardinal broadcaster Mike Shannon.

'Mr. Shannon and I have visited every race track in America on occasion,' says broadcaster Jay Randolph.  The perfect day for us was golf in the morning, horse racing in the afternoon and baseball in the evening.'

And that sounds like a triple play of summer Tuesdays, or maybe more of a trifecta depending how the day goes.

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1 Comment

  • pamrich

    No one should EVER go to this dump! The horses are nags; the place is absolutely filthy inside; the food is disgusting; the parking lot is nothing but one big pothole, etc. I wouldn’t order a bottle of soda in this place! And the Arab that owns the place isn’t going to do anything about it, either. Already tried that.

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