The golfers are gone, but the horses are headed for the gate and ready to run at Fair Meadows. KOTV's Emory Bryan says it's horseracing season again and Fair Meadows is looking forward to a strong meet that begins Thursday.
Ron Shotts with Fair Meadows says, "The racing again should be great." The ponies are practicing and the horsemen are saddling up for another season of races at Fair Meadows. 34 days of racing begins this week, a mixed breed field of horses, and most with Oklahoma roots. Even with 12 races a day, going until midnight, there isn't enough room for all the horsemen that want to enter. Debbie Shoauf with the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association says, "All that says is that this is very popular and fans can expect to see very competitive races with full fields and really good horse racing here."
The racing season begins with Fair Meadows in the middle of a construction zone. New barns are being built at the Fairgrounds, and traffic will be rerouted for parking. Fair Meadows has had to move some of the walking areas for horses because of the construction, but they will benefit from the results. Shotts says, "we'll be affected by it but it's all positive and I think couple of years from now, no one will recognize the fairgrounds, expo squares going to look real nice."
One big change coming is an underground entrance to the track infield. Racing and baseball fans will be able to park inside the track even during races, and get a close view of the action. "We'll have probably as good a quarter horse racing as there is in the United States."