Ellis Park requests to push back opening day

Park officials now aiming to reschedule first day of summer meet to July 2

Ellis Park requests to push back opening day

HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Plans for the beginning of Ellis Park’s live summer racing meet could possibly change.

Park officials are now hoping to push back opening day to July 2.

The first day of live racing was originally set for June 28.

However, 14 News is hearing that Ellis Park is asking the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to move the date back four days to ensure that all health and safety protocols are carefully met in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In addition, the last day at Churchill Downs in Louisville is June 27, and Ellis Park officials thought it would help owners and trainers to have some extra time in between those dates to ship horses over. The change has to be approved by the racing commission.

“We had that 28th day backed up to Churchill’s closing day, so it was going to create issues to get everyone over here," Ellis Park general manager Jeff Inman said. "So it gives us a little time to get ready, get our COVID protocols in place, gives us a little more time to prepare, gives us a nice four-day weekend, and it makes it easier for everyone to transition from Ellis Park. It seems like a win-win for everyone.”

Ellis Park’s racing meets will start out of the gate without spectators, but management is hopeful the commonwealth will allow fans outside at some point during the summer season.

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