Fairmount Park Postpones Opening Day For First Time

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KPLR)-- For the first time in its 87 year history, Fairmount Park race track in Collinsville has been orced to postpone opening day of the thoroughbred racing season, because of  Sunday`s record snowfall.

"Since 1926, we have survived depressions, world wars,  all kinds of other catastrophes,  but this time around we could not survive a March 26  blizzard which was very unexpected," said Fairmount spokesman Jon Sloane.

Opening day will now be Friday.

The problem was not so much clearing the parking lots and grandstands, but the track itself, which is made of several layers of materials.  It has to be in just the right condition to be safe, and as of Tuesday morning it was not.

A small army of workers was brought in to gently remove the ice and snow without damaging the base of the track.

"They have been carefully clearing it because you don`t want to damage any of the parts of the track underneath, then they have to dry it off a bit and then they are going to go in and see about all the other materials that make up the track and make sure they are good and able to run," Sloane said.  "We would anticipate for the people who are coming Friday night and want to know the track condition for betting purposes, it will probably be called sloppy."

The lost day will be made up later in the racing season.

Post time Friday for the first race will be at 7:30 p.m.

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