Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves Ellis Park’s Owensboro expansion

Ellis Park officials say they could close if a solution isn’t reached on historical horse racingOWENSBORO, Ky (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved Ellis Park’s request on Tuesday to build an off-track betting site in Owensboro.

Officials say that the site will be a non-contiguous extension and will have hundreds of historical horse racing machines. Ellis Park officials say the 60,000 square-foot building will be located in the Town Square Mall development.

“We at Ellis Entertainment are incredibly excited to bring our Quality, Value, and Service core values to a new venue in a new market in Kentucky,” said Jeffery Inman, General Manager of Ellis Entertainment. “In addition to this being a major addition to the Owensboro community, we believe the new venue will create $6m to $8m in additional purse money per year at Ellis Park, which will help improve the quality of racing for the summertime leg of the Kentucky Thoroughbred circuit.”

Officials say they expect to create 200 new jobs in the Owensboro community, including more than 100 new construction jobs and over 100 permanent jobs once operations commence.

The park hopes to close on expansion financing later this week. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and end in early 2023.

Ellis Park officials Could Close if a Solution isn’t reached on historical horse racing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Keeneland and Red Mile in Lexington have temporarily closed after the state Supreme Court declined to reconsider its ruling that at least some of the games aren’t legal. Ellis Park officials say they could close, too, if a permanent solution is not found.

In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, General Manager of Ellis Park Jeffery Inman says –

Without the revenue associated with HHR, there is no realistic path forward for Ellis Park. Were we to rely only on Racing and Simulcast revenue, we could not even keep this 99 year old facility maintained, let alone provide the financial investment necessary to prepare for and conduct a world-class live race meet. Without HHR support, purses would drop dramatically, resulting in a greatly diminished live racing product. In short, the loss of HHR revenue at Ellis Park would likely threaten the very survival of one of Kentucky’s iconic racing venues.

Historical racing features machines allowing people to bet on randomly generated, past horse races.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Ellis Park Opening Day 2017 Handle Rises Sharply

Press Release

Total betting on Saturday’s opening card at Ellis Park was $1,789,882 — up 62 percent over the $1,106,508 wagered on last year’s first day of racing. That breaks down to $232,276  bet on Ellis at Ellis (up 14 percent over 2016) and $1,557,715 bet off track on Ellis’ nine-race card (up 72 percent percent over last year’s $903,119). Another $300,993 was bet at Ellis on other racetracks, a number that does not show up in the all-sources total but which was up 10 percent, the track said.

“It was just a delightful and great day,” said track president Ron Geary. “We worked hard the whole year to get to this position. We launched a bunch of new things, the new video and tote board and a lot of interior improvements. We’re very excited. Obviously we got our purse money up, and that helps a lot. But I think our team executed quite well. We thought we’d have a good meet; this is certainly a good indicator. But we’ll see what happens in the next 30 race dates, see if it rains or anything like that.”

AGOS Claimer of the Week: Ben Battles for Win in Lexington, KY

Let’s Go Ben battled for the lead throughout, was headed in the final furlong but came back to win the opening race at Keeneland last Wednesday defeating $32,000 claimers. Let’s Go Ben has been named the agameofskill.com Claimer of the Week. The son of Songandaprayer covered the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.90 and returned $13.80 to his backers once his fifth career victory was official. Ridden by Julien Leparoux, the gelding has now finished in the money (top three finishers) in 11 of 24 lifetime races. The 7 year old is trained by Charles Lopresti and has earned $156,000 in his career. Marianna and Brandon Chase own Let’s Go Ben.

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