Ellis Park hosting historic Kentucky Derby qualifier Sunday


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Ellis Park will play host to a historic race this weekend in the Ellis Park Derby.

The Henderson race track, which usually holds its marquee race after the Kentucky Derby, had the good fortune of hosting its event leading up to the Kentucky Derby after COVID-19 delays.

The timing of this weekend’s race will allow the track to host its first Kentucky Derby qualifier on Sunday, which will mark the first Derby qualifying race held at Ellis Park in its 98-year history.

“All of us are on pins and needles waiting for this race,” said Ellis Park general manager Jeff Inman. “It’s really the biggest event in Ellis Park history. Everybody’s over the moon. Can’t wait for Sunday. We have the opportunity to run before the Derby instead of after, so we have a unique opportunity, I don’t know if it’s ever going to be repeated again, where we have a Kentucky derby qualifying race here at Ellis park. Maybe one-of-a-kind, but it’s the first time ever.”

The heavy favorite in Sunday’s race is Art Collector, who has already qualified for the Kentucky Derby. The Ellis Park Derby runs at approximately 4:40 Sunday afternoon.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 6, 2020)

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