HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) Ellis Park has received approval to delay its opening from June 28 to July 2. The park opened its doors on June 8, but there was no horse racing and people had to social distance.
Ellis Park general manager Jeff Inman said the track had requested the delay to have more time to institute all the safety protocols involved with staging horse racing in the COVID-19 era. Ellis Park is making up for not running June 28 by adding July 2, a date it originally had not planned to run.
When the park does open, spectators will not initially be allowed in the grandstand due to guidance from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office. The Ellis Park clubhouse has been allowed to re-open for historical horse racing on the first floor and simulcast wagering on tracks across the country on the second floor.
Ellis Park now will run July 2-5, then be dark the following week to allow Keeneland to run July 8-12. Ellis Park then resumes its Friday-Sunday schedule on July 17, running through Aug. 30.
Ellis Park earlier gave Sept. 1-6 to Churchill Downs in order to let the Louisville track run a rescheduled Kentucky Derby Week, with the Derby on Sept. 5.
Ellis Park 2020 stakes
July 5 — $50,000 Ellis Park Turf Stakes, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 1 1/16 miles (turf).
July 26 — $50,000 Good Lord Stakes, 3-year-olds & up, 6 1/2 furlongs.
Aug. 2 (all on turf) — $100,000* Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint, fillies & mares 3 years old & up, 5 1/2 furlongs; $100,000* Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup, 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/4 miles; $100,000* Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf, fillies & mares 3 years old &up, mile); $100,000* Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint, 3-year-olds & up, 5 1/2 furlongs; $100,000* Kentucky Downs Preview Tourist Mile, 3-year-olds & up, mile.
Aug. 9 — $200,000* Ellis Park Derby, 3-year-olds; 1 1/8 miles; $100,000* Audubon Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs; $100,000* Ellis Park Juvenile, 2-year-olds, 7 furlongs; $100,000* Ellis Park Debutante, 7 furlongs.
*-includes $25,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund
(This story was originally published on June 16, 2020)