From the book, The Fine Art of Anthony Alonso, the artist writes:
“My introduction to racing came unexpectedly. I had entered a painting of one of my sons atop Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor, Maine, in a local exhibit in Floral Park. It won the “best in show” award. A gentleman came along and asked if he could purchase the painting and, of course, I agreed.
He asked me to deliver the oil to his business, which happened to be at Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont, New York, right next door to Floral Park. This person turned out to be Mr. H. Allen Jerkens, a Hall of Fame trainer and important member of the racing community. He is extremely well liked and respected for his knowledge of the Thoroughbred, as well as for his gentleness, fairness, and, above all, his honesty.
Meeting Mr. Jerkens changed the course of my life. After the exhibit was over, I took the painting, The Turning Point, to his barn. It was a lovely May morning, and everywhere I turned I saw the potential for a beautiful painting. The whole scenario fascinated me. Allen noticed my excitement and asked if I would like to come back — to which I said yes! He made it possible for me to get credentials, and from then on I was at the backstretch early every morning before going to work in New York City. My first paintings were of Allen’s barn – inside and outside scenes.”