Ellis Park

Corporate Name: Ellis Park Race Course, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 33, Henderson, Kentucky 42419-0033
Street Address: 3300 U.S. Highway 41 North, Henderson, Kentucky 42420 (click for map)
Telephone:https://web.archive.org/web/20160813050625/http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ellis+Park,+Henderson,+Kentucky+42420&aq=&sll=37.841241,-87.585754&sspn=0.325352,0.837021&ie=UTF8&hq=Ellis+Park,+Henderson,+Kentucky+42420&hnear=Ellis+Park,+Henderson,+Kentucky+42420&ll=37.916508, General Office: (812) 425-1456; Racing Office: (812) 423-0372;
Fax: Administrative & Simulcasting: (812) 425-0146; Racing Office: (812) 425‑3725; Accounting: (812) 425-0353
Marketing: (812) 421-0954
Website: www.ellisparkracing.com

Ellis Park, constructed in 1922 as Dade Park by the Green River Jockey Club, is located on 214 Kentucky acres situated just north of the U.S. Hwy. 41 Twin Bridges. The track rests on the scenic banks of the Ohio River, between the communities of Henderson, Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana.

In 1924, James C. Ellis purchased the facility from the financially-plagued Jockey Club and operated the track until his death in 1956. The track, officially renamed James C. Ellis Park in 1954, was then operated by his nephew, Lester E. Yeager. Yeager, teaming up with long-time track veteran Ruth Adkins, improved, expanded, and successfully operated the facility for the next 25 years.

In 1985, Roger Kumar of Oldsmar, Florida, purchased the facility and later sold the track in 1990 to the Racing Corporation of America. In 1998, Churchill Downs, Inc. purchased the track. As a member of the Churchill Downs family, Ellis Park experienced on-going improvements to the facility, organization, and its stakes and purse structure.

On November 6, 2005, a tornado ripped through northwestern Kentucky and southwestern Indiana, inflicting significant damage to Ellis Park. The track’s grandstand terrace, adjacent to the main grandstand structure, sustained heavy damage, as did the paddock, jockeys’ quarters, and infield tote board. The tornado also destroyed 11 barns in the stable area and caused light-to-moderate damage to several others. Three of the 158 horses on the grounds died from injuries suffered in the storm. Despite the damage to the track, Churchill Downs, Inc. was committed to rebuilding the facilities needed to run the 2006 meeting.

In September 2006, Ron Geary, a local Kentucky businessman, purchased Ellis Park from Churchill Downs. On August 4, 2007, Ellis Park hosted the Claiming Crown, which was a first for a Kentucky track. The Claiming Crown featured seven races with total purses of $600,000.

In 2012, after extensive renovations to the clubhouse, Ellis Park became the second Kentucky track to install instant racing machines. Ellis Park opened its expanded gaming facility the last week in August, just in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Compared month to month with 2013, Ellis Park experienced steady growth in pari-mutuel handle from instant racing during 2014. Ellis ended the year with its second-best week and third best month since opening in 2012.

Ellis Park’s signature event is the Grade III Groupie Doll Stakes. The facility also offers race fans full-card simulcasting year-round from the best tracks across the country.

Officers: Ronald G. Geary, President
Racing Secretary: Dan Bork
Owner Relations Contact: Kathy Griffith
Simulcast Contact: TBD
Track Superintendent: Glenn Thompson
Track Photographer: Coady Photography, (812) 435-8946
Group Sales: (812) 435-8905
Track Caterer: Operated by Ellis Park
Nearest City: Evansville, Indiana (2 miles); Henderson, Kentucky (3 miles)
Nearest Airport: Evansville Regional Airport (8 miles)
Track Data: 11/8-mile sandy loam oval with chutes for 1-mile and 7-furlong races; 1,175-foot homestretch; 1-mile turf course; approximately 950 stalls; 214 acres
Price of Admission: Free
Seating Accommodations: Grandstand, 3,000; Clubhouse, 1,200; Sky Theatre, 450
Dress Requirements: Proper attire: Grandstand, shoes and shirts required at all times; Clubhouse, proper attire required at management’s discretion
Admissions Policy: Children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult
Parking Facilities: General and valet; total capacity, 6,000
Training Facilities: At Ellis Park