Start of racing season at Ellis Park nears

Start of racing season at Ellis Park nears

HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Just days before the start of the summer meet, Ellis Park’s new owners have signed on the dotted line.

A Laguna Development Corporation spokesperson says the new owners will roll out plans for the park in a news conference July 19. Saratoga will still handle the live racing season that kicks off Sunday.

The feeling at Ellis Park on Friday was sort of that same feeling you would get for the first day of school. Trainers and their horses have been gearing up to compete come Sunday.

A lot of preparation and time put in, not only for the track itself, but the horses that will soon run on it.

“We probably take better care of these horses than some people do humans,” said Assistant Trainer at Hancock Racing Dana Hancock. “These horses are well taken care of.”

Trainer John Hancock has a 2-year old horse starting for the first time this weekend. He says his team decided not to start the colt’s career at Churchill Downs this spring.

Instead, they chose to save him for Ellis Park.

“We elected to train him here and get him ready to run to start him here where he would know the surface that he is on, in his case, we breezed from a couple days from the gate to freshen him up and sharpen him up,” said John.

Laguna Development Corporation will take over racing operations after the meet ends on Labor Day.

The old owners, Saratoga, will be running the race on Sunday, but you will still see signs of the new owners.

Some of Ellis’ parking lots took on so much rain there were concerns about parking availability. Track officials tell us everything should be dried out in time for Sunday’s races.

They are anticipating big crowds and tell us they also have an overflow parking plan.

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