Ellis Park Horse Racing

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Ellis Park Racing

Address: 3300 US-41, Henderson, Kentucky, 42420, United States

Built in Henderson, Kentucky, Ellis Park held its first thoroughbred meet back in 1922.

The track has undergone many changes since the 1920’s because of ownership changes, barn fires, floods, and a tornado that almost destroyed the facility in 2005. Among the stakes race run at Ellis Park, is their signature race and only Graded stakes race the Groupie Doll Stakes which is a Grade III event. Other listed stakes races are the Ellis Park Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Governor’s Handicap, the Tri-State Handicap and the Audubon Oaks.

Here’s a history of events at Ellis Park Race course:

  • Originally called Dade Park, it was built in 1922 by the Green River Jockey Club.
  • October 19, 1922 its opening race was a Grand Circuit harness meet.
  • On November 18, 1922 the gates opened for the first Thoroughbred meet.
  • In January of 1937, a huge Ohio river flood sweept through the Tri-State area with the flood waters reaching the track’s mezzanine in the main grandstand.
  • In 1954, the track was renamed to honor the Dade Parks’ longtime owner, James C. Ellis.
  • In November of 2005, a tornado caused significant damage to Ellis Park.
  • In September 2006, Ron Geary, a local Kentucky businessman, purchased Ellis Park from Churchill Downs, Inc.
  • In 1988, Ellis Park, along with the Kentucky Horse Center, was sold to Churchill Downs, Inc.
  • In September 2006, Ron Geary, bought Ellis Park from Churchill Downs, Inc.
  • The 9th edition of the Claiming Crown to Kentucky was held at Ellis Park on August 4, 2007 and brought largest handle ever for any Claiming Crown at $4.9 million.

Ellis Park Race Course Information:

Live Racing: Friday to Sunday

Racing Calendar: 29 days starting on July 4, and ending on Labor Day

Course Type: Thoroughbred

Notable Races: Gardenia Stakes (Grade III), Ellis Park Breeders’ Cup Turf, Governor’s Handicap, Tri-State Handicap and Audubon Oaks.

Main Track: 1 1/8 miles, oval with 7 furlongs and 1 mile chutes

Distance from last turn to finish line: 1,175 feet

Turf Course: 7 Furlongs


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