Possible Ellis Park sale on Kentucky Horse Racing Commission agenda

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HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will consider the sale of Ellis Park at a meeting Tuesday.

According to the agenda of the meeting, the sale of the track is being considered for a group named Ellis Entertainment. Two weeks ago, sources confirmed Saratoga has been negotiating a sale with Laguna Development Corporation from New Mexico.

A spokesman with LDC confirmed the group is in a non-disclosure agreement but could not elaborate with who or where.

Laguna is in the casino, hotel, and restaurant business.

Any agreement between LDC and Saratoga would need approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

If the track is sold, it would be the second time it’s changed ownership in under one year. It was just July last year, Saratoga Casino and Hospitality Group bought Ellis Park from Ron Geary, the former owner of the Evansville Icemen.

The Horse Racing Commission is meeting at 12:30 p.m. central Tuesday in Florence.

Racetrack History

Ellis was born in 1922 as Dade Park. It was named after a famous director of the Green River Jockey Club.

According to the track’s history books, Dade Park faced financial trouble early on. The jockey club went bankrupt and the track was bought by James Ellis for $35,000.

Years passed until Roger and Lila Kumar bought the track in 1985 and expanded the grandstands.

They would sell 4 years later to Racing Corporations of America, which in turn sold to Churchill Downs in 1998.

Eventually, Geary bought Ellis Park in 2006. He would have the track until 2018 when he sold to Saratoga.

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(This story was originally published on June 18, 2019)

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