Video of The Fine Art of Thomas Allen Pauly

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Legendary Weekend

That had to be one of the most amazing weekends that I ever experienced in my 31 years in horse racing.

It was an incredible honor to spend time with 23 of the greatest jockeys in the sport. 16 of them are Hall of Fame inductees...among their totals are: 95,639 winners, 22 Derbies, 2 Triple Crowns and 8 decades of riding the greatest horses in the world. We all came together to help support the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and the Racetrack Chaplaincy at the Dining With The Dynasty fundraiser held on the eve of the Million at the beautiful Arlington Park Racecourse.

Nancy LaSala, Executive Director of the PDJF and Tony Petrillo, VP of Arlington Park commissioned me to portray caricatures of the 23 legendary jockeys breaking out of the starting gate at Arlington. My painting titled "The Legendary Start" was reproduced as a commemorative art print which was autographed by the jockeys and was also included in the program featuring each legendary jockey. It was much fun watching the jockeys run around getting autographs from each other and exchanging stories from the past. The original painting was auctioned off at the luncheon by CBS sportscaster Howard Sudberry. Also, my video tribute of "The Jockeys" premiered at the fundraiser.

Thomas Allen Pauly's "The Jockeys" Video

I am very proud to be part of the PDJF family. It was founded in 2006 and it brings much needed financial assistance to a group of athletes who have given so much to the sport of horse racing. The PDJF is committed to working with both industry and medical research groups to improve the safety of both the human and equine athlete as well as medical research projects dedicated to reducing catastrophic injuries.

ESPN video of the legendary jockeys signing the DWTD event posters.

Dave Erb (he starting riding during the Seabiscuit's years) & Pat Day signing for hundreds of racing fans during the Arlington Million Festival.

Jan Hortyk & Stacy Burton in Arlington's paddock... Stacy suffered a severe brain injury in a terrible accident in 2000. She is one of 60 former jockeys that PDJF assists with their daily living.
(I spent much time with Stacy & Jan, they are amazing people)

Thank you to Nancy LaSala, Tony Petrillo and all of the legendary jockeys who helped make this affair very successful...
I am looking forward to the future projects that we have planned for the upcoming PDJF events.

Triple Crown champion Secretariat's jockey Ron Turcotte and Tom
at the DWTD jockey reception

Thursday, August 6, 2009

23 Legendary Jockeys, 1 Artist for a Great Cause

Dining With The Dynasty Fund-Raiser Announced

| June 25, 2009

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America jointly announce the expansion of the Dining With The Dynasty event to be held in the Governor's Room at Arlington Park on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009.

The Dining With The Dynasty, a ticketed luncheon event, affords event attendees a once in a lifetime chance to gather, dine and converse

with legendary jockeys from Thoroughbred racing's glorious past and who have created some of the most exciting moments in horse racing history.

The luncheon will feature many special events including both a silent & live auction for racing memorabilia and other classic items; legendary jockey autograph sessions and special appearances on both the day of the event and the following day, Sat., Aug. 8, which is Arlington Million Day will accompany the Dining With The Dynasty luncheon on Friday.

This year's luncheon will provide ticket purchasers with a unique chance to dine and share stories with 23 legendary jockeys. Scheduled to appear are: Stacy Burton, Jackie Fires, Dennis Keenan, Ron Turcotte; Braulio Baeza, Jerry Bailey, Walter Blum, Bill Boland, Don Brumfield, Angel Cordero Jr., Pat Day, Dave Erb, Earlie Fires, Julie Krone, Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay Jr., Randy Romero, John Rotz, Jose Santos, Gary Stevens, Jorge Velasquez, Bobby Ussery and Ray Sibille.

Well known equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly is designing the event invitations, a collectible program with inserts that will feature each of jockey's biography and caricature. In addition, he is designing a limited edition collectible poster.

Tickets, which includes an extravagant food buffet, open bar and collectible program designed by Thomas Allen Pauly go on sale on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 for $300 online at the website of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund or can be purchased in person at Arlington Park in the administrative offices from Jody Musielak.

Tickets are expected to move fast as this event is limited to 100 attendees. Proceeds from the event benefit The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.

For more information visit the websites of The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund; the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America at; Arlington Park's website at or call Tony Petrillo at (847) 385-7755.


Mix and Mingle with Earlie Fires, Ray Sibille, Pat Day and More!

By Scott McMannis

Have you ever dreamed of spending a day at the races with 23 of the riding greats of the past? No, I don’t mean with you in the stands and them on the track.

I mean in a social setting, where you can meet and greet, mix and mingle, collect their autographs, and more, and for a good cause. Your chance at such a very special day is coming soon.

On Friday, August 7, Arlington Park is hosting a headline event to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America (RCA). Dubbed Dining with the Dynasties, the event will be held in Arlington’s Governor’s Room, a private facility on the west end of the third floor of the building with panoramic views stretching from the downtown Chicago skyline to the east, across the broad expanse of Arlington’s main track and turf course, out to the west over the barn area and beyond, as far as, well, the eye can see.

The exclusive event will be from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. There will be an open bar, and the first-class buffet will be from noon to 2:30. The afternoon will also include live auctions and silent auctions where you can bid on an array of racing memorabilia and related items, perfect to display in your office, den, or rec room. Autograph sessions are also scheduled. You will have ample opportunity to associate with, first hand, individuals who have been the elite of their profession, spanning decades.

Primary emcee for the event will be well-known Chicago sportscaster Howard Sudberry. Since coming to Chicago in 1984, Sudberry has been a fan of Chicago horseracing.

Highly-regarded Chicago-based equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly is creating the unique invitation package for this event. The collectible program features inserts containing each Dynasty jockey’s biography and caricature, perfect for autograph collecting. Pauly also is designing a limited-edition, collectible poster to commemorate this event.

Program Cover Art


Thomas Allen Pauly

“I’m thrilled to have been invited to be a part of this event,” revealed Pauly. “These jockeys have been heroes to me during my life as a racing fan.

“I’m really honored to design these keepsakes for this function,” continued Pauly. “In fact, my original artwork, which will be used to produce the invitation package as well as the commemorative poster, will also be auctioned off to raise money for the PDJF and the RCA.” Everyone will want to see the original artwork for the poster – it is two feet high and six feet wide and contains a caricature of all 23 jockeys.

Nancy La Sala, wife of jockey Jerry La Sala, is Executive Director of the PDJF and is on the board. “We held our first event like this last year, but it was on a much smaller scale,” she explained. “The RCA and the PDJF wanted to grow the event into something bigger this year, while still keeping the luncheon to an intimate size.

“After the exclusive luncheon there will be a public autograph session and more silent auctions from 2:30 to 3:30,” La Sala continued. “We will likely be at the bottom of the grand staircase, just inside from the statue of John Henry and The Bart.”

Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, now retired, has been a national spokesperson for the RCA since 1984. “It has been a very important calling, one that has brought a lot of joy and fulfillment to me,” explained Day from his home in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Now, I am really looking forward to this event at Arlington,” Day continued. “With the RCA and the PDJF combining with Arlington Park, we are able to put together a grand event – what a splendid time it will be. Just think how miraculous it is to get these 23 people together, riders whose careers, collectively speaking, span five decades. Oh, we’ll have a great time, swapping stories, mingling with the guests, and reminiscing. Some of us have gotten together in the past, like for the recent race with retired jockeys at Santa Anita, but never on such a grand scale as this Dining with the Dynasties will be.”

In order to keep this event as personal and intimate as possible, while still achieving fund-raising goals, attendance will be limited to 100 fans. Tickets for this event, which are all-inclusive of the extravagant buffet, open bar, collectible program and poster, and access to the 23 featured jockeys, are $300. Proceeds go to benefit the PDJF and the RCA. The PDJF states that it is a registered, nonprofit, 503(c)3 public charity. Part or all of your contributions may be tax-deductible – consult your tax advisor.

Tickets are available now, but only while supplies last. Order by going to the PDJF web site at or purchase in person from Jody Musielak in the Arlington Park administrative offices, located just off the southwest corner of the paddock.

In addition to Earlie Fires, Ray Sibille, and Pat Day, jockeys scheduled to appear are Jackie Fires, Ron Turcotte, Dennis Keenan, Stacy Burton, Randy Romero, Julie Krone, Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Jose Santos, Gary Stevens, Jorge Velasquez, Angel Cordero, Jr., Bobby Ussery, John Rotz, Dave Erb, Jean Cruguet, Bill Bolland, Walter Blum, and Braulio Baeza. Secure your tickets now


Thomas Allen Pauly

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pauly: "Layer by Layer" in the Blood-Horse Magazine

Inside Track: Layer by Layer
Thomas Allen Pauly
Photo: Shawn Toth

Inside Track: Layer by Layer

Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:19 AM
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:19 AM

Thomas Allen Pauly’s love for painting subjects of Thoroughbred racing was developed somewhat like the intricate portraits he produces from his Chicago-area studio: layer by layer.

Pauly found from an early age that he could translate art from photographs, and the second medium eventually became another passion. As a photographer shooting for such publications as Illinois Racing News, Pauly not only gained access to top horses and jockeys at Triple Crown races and Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but also at such international events as Royal Ascot, the Arc de Triomphe, Hong Kong Cup, and Dubai World Cup, among others.

“My eye as an artist has taught me to be a good photographer,” said Pauly, who turned 49 earlier this year. “And as I go along, doing race pictures are a lot of fun.”

But Pauly’s primary focus is on his paintings -- even more so since retiring in February following a 30-year career as a repairman for AT&T.

“Every day was like a struggle, because it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” he said. “When I would come home after working eight hours, I would go to my studio to paint, sometimes until 2 a.m.”

But his workaday job was not without at least one highlight as it relates to his artistic pursuits. Pauly said he had been trying to sell a portrait of grade I winner Stevie Wonderboy to his owner, entertainment mogul Merv Griffin, when he finally received a call closing the deal.

“I remember I was up in the ceiling running this wire at the (Chicago) Board of Trade,” he said. “It was a god-awful day, everything was going wrong. And then I got this call from Merv Griffin’s office and they ended up buying the painting. It was very surreal to have my head stuck in this drop ceiling and talking to Merv Griffin’s office.”

Pauly has no idea how many pieces of artwork he has produced, but he clearly remembers certain milestone productions. There was the caricature of President Richard Nixon he did in fifth grade that initially sparked his interest in art, a piece modeled after a similar effort of legendary cartoonist Mort Drucker of “MAD Magazine” fame.

Then in 1978, he sold his first piece of artwork – a drawing of a harness racehorse named Rusty Win, who was owned by the father of one of Pauly’s friends. Pauly and others had gone to a race at old Sportsman’s Park, and when Rusty Win posted a victory, the burgeoning artist ended up in the winner’s circle. It was Pauly’s first time at a horse race.

“And when I got an 8-by-10 (photograph), I was so moved by the situation I decided to do a drawing of the horse,” said Pauly, who sold the drawing to his friend’s father.

From there, demand for his efforts only grew. In 1989, he completed a still-existing caricature montage for Arlington Park, which is located on the third floor near the press box. In 1990, he was commissioned to paint 1989 Illinois Horse of Year Western Playboy, and the resulting portrait was given to the owners as a trophy. Since that time, each owner of an Illinois HOY has been awarded a Pauly trophy portrait.

Pauly was also one of 11 international artists commissioned a few years ago to produce portraits of all the Dubai World Cup winners. His portrait of ‘96 winner Cigar in 2007 fetched $50,000 at the Dubai World Cup Art Auction and Exhibition.

“That one really stands out,” Pauly said.

Another of his favorite portraits is of Charismatic, who won the 1999 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). “It was my first Derby, and he was a great looking horse,” said Pauly, who keeps that portrait in his studio.

The artist works in a 500-square foot loft studio filled with racing silks, saddles, saddle cloths, and bridles. “I have a lot of showings there,” he said. Many of Pauly’s portraits are done in oil, using a layering technique of glaze and paint he said is akin to how the “Old Masters” painted. Examples of his work can be viewed on his Web site at

Pauly was also commissioned by Churchill Downs as the official portrait artist of the 2007 Kentucky Derby, which is best remembered as the crowning victory of the ill-fated Barbaro. Pauly produced the portrait within four or five days after the Derby so that it could be given away on the track’s fan appreciation day, which was held after Barbaro was injured in the Preakness.

“(Churchill officials) were debating on whether to give it away, but he started to get better, so they said let’s do it,” Pauly said of the heavily-publicized rehabilitation effort given Barbaro. “People were lined up the parking lot waiting to get the poster. They were real appreciative.”

One of Pauly’s favorite subjects is jockeys, and his portfolio includes portraits of many of the all-time greats. “I enjoy doing portraits of jockeys right before they get up on the horse, or when the jockey is up on the horse, showing the withers of the horse and the neck,” he said.

Pauly has hooked up with noted turf writer Victor Zast to produce a book about international horse racing. “I’m going to do 36 paintings – places, people, racetracks, and the horses involved with it,” he said.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Great Big Gray Horse

My first real memory of a horse, although it was stuffed was at 5 years old. Our family drove up to the Wisconsin Dells for our summer vacation. My mother, Jean put me up on a great big gray horse and dressed me up like a little cowboy. Boy, I was a happy little kid. But, days later when I found out that it was once a real horse and not a fake, I was devastated.....

My first real memory of a racetrack was years later when driving pass Maywood Park. I asked my dad what that was..."It's a racetrack, only bad people go there". Why would he say that? After my dad passed away, I found out that he was a real small time bookie. He ran book out of his Chicago Tribune newspaper stand on the Northwest side. Ma said he told me that story to keep me from ever going there. It didn't work. Nothing would.

"This race isn't over, please hold all tickets"

More to follow.....

Monday, May 11, 2009


Greetings and welcome,

This is my first time blogging... I am in the process of designing my new website and I thought that a blog would be a welcome addition.

I am an equine artist who has been painting the beauty and excitement of international horse racing since 1978. My earliest memory of anything artistic was in the 5th grade. A classmate named Paul Cronin brought a Mad Magazine to Palmer School and passed it around in class. When it finally came to me, what I saw would change my life forever. There was a caricature of Richard Nixon drawn by Mort Drucker. It was such a funny illustration, I was drawn to it. I never had any desire to draw before that moment but I took out my #2 pencil and proceeded to copy it. It must have turned out pretty good because I kept asking him to bring more & more Mad Mags(boy, I wish I still had that drawing). I started buying my own magazines at resale shops and actually developed a huge collection. Some of them are from the 50's. Mort Drucker was a huge influence in my career (in fact, the 3 dots at the end of my name is how he signed his). It was his drawings at Mad that taught me me how to draw caricatures, which 18 years later would prove to be very beneficial when Arlington Park Racetrack came calling.

My life at the track began on June 17, 1978. My friend, David Gonzales was having a party at his house when he announced that his dad's harness horse "Rusty Win" was in Sportman's Park's 8th race. About 20 of us jumped in our cars and made it by minutes before the race was off. The horse won by 5 lengths and all of us crammed into the small winner's circle. I was hooked.

I couldn't get enough of the track so I started calling in sick at Bankers, Life and Casualty. Eventually, I got fired. Here I was, 18 years old just out of high school. No job, no money and no aspirations. But, I sure loved the ponies.

A couple months later... I was sitting on my mother's front porch wondering what I was going to do with my life. Then Mrs. Pritzer walks by. She tells me to get off my butt and apply at AT&T. I did, passed the test with flying colors (just out of school, couldn't do that now) and promptly turned down their offer. It was for a night shift position, which of course would interfere with me going to the track. They eventually offered me a day job. I accepted and in February of this year after 30 years with the same company I retired. But, throughout those 30 years, it was a difficult struggle between my corporate job and my passion for painting horses.

My first drawing of a horse was of "Rusty Win". I used the win picture as reference and I rendered it in color-pencils. It was pretty awful, but Dave's dad bought it anyway. That was the start of my wonderful equine art career.

As Arlington Park's track announcer Phil Georgeff would say:
"This race isn't over, please hold all tickets"

More to follow.....