Fairmount Park has postponed its opening day Tuesday after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on the Collinsville horse track and throughout the metro-east Sunday and Monday.
The track announced that the first day of live races has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, which was an originally scheduled racing date. Tuesday's race date will be rescheduled at a later date.
Track president Brian Zander said the track was covered prior to the storm that began Sunday with rainfall. Had it only snowed, grounds crews would have been able to remove the snow without affecting the track's surface, Zander said.
"It will be very sloppy and muddy," Zander said. "It will take us a couple days to get that work done. So we thought for the safety of the horses and jockeys we would be better off postponing the start to this Friday night's card. The parking lots are not a problem at all, it was the race track surface."
Zander said that between 8 and 10 inches of snow fell Sunday in Collinsville and more snow fell on Monday. As far as the records show, this is the first time in the track's 87-year history that opening day has been postponed.
The Collinsville track will host 69 live thoroughbred races this season. Live racing will continue every Tuesday afternoon at Fairmount Park through Sept. 17.
Races will also be held every Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. through Sept. 20, the last day of the live racing season at the track.
The first Saturday races will be held at 12:30 p.m. on May 4, the day of the Kentucky Derby. Saturday races will then be held at 7:30 p.m. beginning May 11 through Aug. 24.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2526.