Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fairmount Park

Francis here, giving you another guest blog. Once upon a time, Beth went to Fairmount Park regularly to watch the horses and drink cheap beer with her friends, but this was my first time and I figured I could write the blog though the eyes of the new guy.

I will admit, I was hoping for the feel of Churchill Down where women get the vapors and men wear white suits and get a good, refined drunk going. However, this is betting in Illinois east of St. Louis. The closest I got to my perceived notions was the occasional person wearing slacks and the Duck Dynasty shirts that weren't covered in cigarette burns.

Also, no mint juleps to be seen
Fairmount is broken into two sections: The regular side which costs $2.50 to get in, and the Party in the Park which is $13 and only on Friday, but gets you free food and cheaper booze. The downside to the Party in the Park side is that you aren't at the finish line for the races, so if you want to watch the horses cross, you'll have to come over and slum it in the cheap seats.

Don't let the jumbo-tron fool you, it's just to watch the horses run on the other side of the mile long track. You are close enough to spit on the dirt when the horses come thundering past the finish line. If you could stand right next to the track, it would hit you about thigh high, and the only thing keeping you from drunkenly running out and tackling a horse is a chain link fence and two feet of free space.

Lots of gratuitous horse photos!
I myself am not a betting person, but if you happen to be, you can pick up a program with all the stats on the races and horses. There is also a paddock where the horses are walked around a little circle so you can stand there, nodding your head and pretending like you know what you're doing.

I'm mostly convinced it's a horse, but with that mask there is the chance it's a Mexican Luchadore.

If you have a group of friends and you need something to do on a Saturday night, you can't go wrong with a night at Fairmount Park. Neither Beth nor I are gamblers, but the place is great for cheap food and people watching. And if you happen to have a friend who know something about horses, you may learn a thing or two. If not, just loudly talk about how you don't know much and someone will be friendly drunk enough to adopt you for the evening.

Don't let the look fool you. That was one of the best burgers wrapped in foil that I have ever had.

Plenty of space inside in the event of bad weather.
Live racing is every Friday and Saturday night with post time at 7:30, Horse Hooky Tuesday with post time at 1pm, and simulcast racing on the indoor televisions 7 days a week. You can find a schedule of events on their website, and they are available for betting on tracks all over the country.


  1. No mention of the guys that are on their hands and knees crawling around the floor in the garbage,towards the end of the night, in search of that accidentally discarded winning ticket?

    1. dang,you just made me kind of happy that I am usually gone before the last race of the evening.

  2. Love the post. You suckered me in with a horse picture! (Not really, I love this blog). I'd love to send you a picture of a horse from Keeneland racetrack that Sally, Lois, Paul and I went to last year. The difference in horseflesh is amazing!

    U. Bill

    1. oh, I bet. We remarked on how coked out the horses at Fairmount are looking this year. haha