Ellis Park Race Course, Henderson

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Ellis Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of Evansville, Indiana. 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.HistoryEllis 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 totalisator 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.
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  • My son and I, two grandsons, and my son's brother-in-law visited the Ellis Park Race Course the day before Labor Day. It was the next to the last day of the racing session, and the place was crowded. ...  more »
  • We went for an afternoon of horse racing had a lot of fun watching the horses. There are plenty of places to get close to the track and the horses. We had reserved seats in the clubhouse dining area. ...  more »
  • If you want to have a fun day out, stop by Ellis Racetrack during live meet! You don't have to spend a lot of money, prices are good and it is just a great way to enjoy the day!  more »

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