A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

Some of you have met Paulette Cigliana and if you have been paying attention to the blog….you have at least heard of Paulette. Paulette is involved with the horse racing at Fairmount and has certainly helped me photograph the racing as well as meet some of the jockeys, trainers and staff.

She is the unofficial/official “Barn Mom”. She mother hen’s all the horses in the barn with peppermints, carrots and love pats. She also listens to the folks that care for her “babies” — if you can call horses that weigh 1,000 to 1,200 pounds being a babies. šŸ™‚ You would be hard set to find anyone more caring about horses or people.

Anyway….. On May 3rd she had 3 ‘babies’ running in different races and was a bit nervous how they would do …and for their safety. After the dust settled, two of her ‘babies won their races and another finished third— all ‘in the money’. Just as important all finished their races safely and with no injuries.

Here are her ‘babies’ that ran on Tuesday, May 3rd.


DERBY DAY at Fairmount

Again, I was totally unprepared for the crowd at Derby Day. There were more people there than Opening Day which I thought was a large crowd. Several friend’s horses had a winning day.

Like Churchill Downs there were a few ‘bonnets’ worn.

Here is a sample

Leaving for the track in about 10 minutes. Looks like a warm sunny day. Hope to get some good images.

Fairmount Park-Opening Day

img_0971_std_1April 29th marked the 82nd year of Thoroughbred Horse racing at Fairmount Park in Collinsville, Illinois. As many of you know, I got hooked on photographing these races last year. I find the horses a great example of grace and power and the jockeys ability to ride these beautiful animals at breakneck speed fascinating. My good friend, Paulette Cigliano, took me under her wing and helped me learn the ins and outs of horse racing at Fairmount.

The people who train and support these horses do it, at least part of it, out of a deep love. There isn’t a lot of money going around these days at horse racing tracks. Especially at the tier of tracks that Fairmount is in. When a major track like Churchill Downs is having to take nearly 18% of the tote to keep its status, you can imagineĀ  Fairmount management’sĀ  distress at being cut out of the current bill that let’s all the other tracks in Illinois have slots EXCEPT Fairmount (with its 1400 jobs). Some sort of back room deal concerning East St. Louis and the Casino Queen.Ā  Illinois politics is a mess…. I will just leave it at that.

They say if the current bill passes that this could be the last year that Fairmount operates as a racing track. If that is so, then I plan to take as many images as I can…….. not so much as documentation but as a reminder of a sport that combines athleticism of people and horses with the color and drama of racing.

Here is a slide show of a few opening day images ( still have many to processĀ  šŸ™‚Ā  )