HENDERSON, Ky. — Horse racing is starting up at another Kentucky racetrack. Ellis Park in Henderson received approval to begin its summer meet Thursday, July 2 rather than the previously approved Sunday, June 28 opening day.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the change which also includes Churchill Downs extending its spring meet by a day to close on June 28.
Ellis Park general manager Jeff Inman requested the delay to have more time to put in coronavirus safety protocols involved with horse racing. Since the horses won't run on June 28 Ellis Park is making it up by running on July 2, a day previously not scheduled.
“It’s win-win for everybody, including the state and Kentucky horsemen picking up an additional day of racing," Inman said.
Like Churchill Downs and other tracks, there will be no spectators allowed at the track until Governor Andy Beshear (D) clears it.
Under the state's reopening guidelines, Ellis Park's clubhouse has been allowed to reopen for Historical Horse Racing on the first floor while simulcast betting on tracks around the country is taking place on the second floor.
Coronavirus forced Keeneland in Lexington to cancel its spring meet ad Churchill Downs opened a week later than scheduled. Ellis Park will run July 2-5, be dark for a week to allow Keeneland to run July 8-12. Ellis Park will then resume racing its Friday-Sunday schedule beginning July 17 through August 30.
Earlier this year, Ellis Park gave up September 1-6 racing to allow Churchill Downs to host racing including the rescheduled Kentucky Derby on September 5.