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Ellis Park Racing Info
Ellis Park Race Course (Henderson, KY)
(Racing Dates: 06/28/2020 - 08/30/2020)
Ellis Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of Evansville, Indiana. It is owned and operated by Saratoga Casino & Hospitality Group. While the track is located north of the Ohio River that forms the border between Kentucky and Indiana, which would put it within Indiana, the border is based on the course of the river at the time Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Ellis Park was built by the Green River Jockey Club in 1922. It initially held a harness meeting on the Grand Circuit for the total of $32,000 in purses for a five-day race meeting. On November 10, 1922, a 10-day thoroughbred meet with purses of $62,000 was held. The meet was a stop on the train route south to New Orleans for winter racing at Fair Grounds Race Course.
These short meets didn't meet the needs of the track and in 1925, after three years of operation, the Green River Jockey Club went bankrupt. In 1925 James C. Ellis, a Rockport businessman, purchased the track, then called Dade Park. He brought about many changes at the track including adding a tote board wagering system and a terrace grandstand. The facility was renamed Ellis Park in 1954. James Ellis died in 1956.
The track management was then led by Ellis's nephew, Lester E. Yeager. Under Yeager's leadership, a new paddock and jockey's quarters were built, as well as a new clubhouse and stable areas. He gave leadership to Ruth Adkins in the mid-1960s.
Adkins was the chief officer of the James C. Ellis estate, which still owned the track, businesses, and real estate in Kentucky and Indiana. The track was sold in 1985 to Roger and Lila Kumar. They built a sky terrace atop the Grandstand and pushed for the inter-track wagering legislation in Kentucky. They, in turn, sold the track to the Racing Corporation of America in 1989. The company sold the track to Churchill Downs Incorporated in 1998.
The racetrack suffered extensive damage, as well as the death of several racehorses, when a tornado ripped through the area on November 6, 2005. READ MORE!
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