COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Live thoroughbred horse racing is getting back on track in Collinsville at the old Fairmont Park, now known as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.
In addition to Tuesday afternoons, there will be Saturday night racing beginning in May with a post time of 7:30 p.m. Friday night racing begins in June with a post time of 7:30 p.m. That completes the three-day-a-week race schedule, which concludes on Labor Day.
“It’s just the perfect trifecta of everything,” said fan Dave Hemmer. “Of coming back, the weather, and being out here and enjoying the great people of St. Louis.”
This is the 96th year of racing at the park in Collinsville. The opening day brings betters from near and far, like Tom Seib, who traveled from Arkansas.
“I found out it was opening day, so I figured it’s a perfect time to come,” Sieb said. “There’s nothing like live people cheering the horses on the racetrack, especially coming down the stretch.”
Tuesday marks the first of 53 race days. The track opened last year but closed after just three days of racing due to the pandemic.
“We came once last year and everything got shut down because of COVID, so I’m really excited to be back,” said fan Sarah Bender.
The return is not without restrictions – the race park is allowed just 25% capacity and masks are required.
“Thank God. I hit a trifecta on the very first race, the very first day, so extremely excited,” said Dave Hemmer.
No matter the odds, the weather is a win for all.
“The weather is perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Melissa Helton, president and general manager of FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. “Tomorrow, you know, it’s supposed to rain for two days, so Saturday could be a little change when we have Derby day.”