HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) - There is quite the buzz surrounding this upcoming racing season at Ellis Park.
Racing Secretary Dan Bork says it could be the best year the track has ever seen.
“We are looking at a record year in purses," says Bork. “We are up to over $330,000 a day offered, that is up over $100,000 from last year. Our stakes program is getting stronger which means our jockey colony is going to be stronger than ever.”
This all comes after the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved of the sale of Ellis Park to Ellis Entertainment LLC. General Manager Jeff Hall has seen lots of changes at the track, but he says the changes over the last year have been big.
“The change in the ownership has really picked up here with Saratoga stepping in and now with Ellis Entertainment," said Hall. “It’s gone from a Volkswagen to a Mercedes.”
Ellis Entertainment has committed to transform the facility into an entertainment center. A safer grand stand, renovated dirt track, and clubhouse improvements are already in the works.
“It is going to be great for the people in Henderson," said Hall. "The future here at Ellis Park is going to be phenomenal. When this thing is done and the deal is closed next week, you guys are really going to be impressed.”
Ellis Park has also announced a partnership with O.Z. Tyler Distillery for this season. Patrons will be able to purchase and enjoy O.Z. Tyler Bourbon while watching the races.
“Now you throw in some of the world class thoroughbred action, it makes it even better," said Bork. “So yeah, I expect to see people from all over.”