EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – It was a historic weekend at Ellis Park with the Ellis Park Derby running Sunday afternoon, and it was capped off by a convincing win by favorite Art Collector.
In unprecedented fashion, Ellis Park hosted the first Kentucky Derby qualifier in its 98-year history. Cancellations caused by COVID-19 allowed the Ellis Park Derby to serve as the final tune up before horse racing’s premier event. Art collector jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said he was happy to play a role in Ellis Park history.
“It’s big. It’s huge, especially for this race, it means a lot to Ellis,” Hernandez said. “And to ride here as often as I do, to be able to come in here with such a nice horse who’s got so much press behind him now to go into the derby, it’s a great story for everyone.”
Sunday’s race was the last chance for horses to earn points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. Art Collector, who had previously qualified for the Kentucky Derby prior to Sunday, is currently the second-favorite to win in September.
(This story was originally published on August 9, 2020)