Ellis Park Opens With Success Despite Rain
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2005 2:02 PM
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 8:31 PM
(from Ellis Park release)
Photo: Reed Palmer
Both rider Willie Martinez and Stars and Glitter are covered in mud after winning the 4th race in front of a record crowd on a rain-soaked opening day at Ellis Park.
Wet weather didn't keep fans from coming out on opening day at Ellis Park Wednesday to begin the track's 82nd meet in Henderson, Ky. An attendance mark under its current owner was established.
A total of 4,604 patrons passed through the gates, besting the 2004 opening day attendance mark of 4,388. Attendance figures dating back to 1999 show this year's opener as the largest since Churchill Downs Inc. has owned the property.
"When you consider the weather conditions we've had, we couldn't be more pleased with the crowd that came out today," said Paul Kuerzi, vice president and general manager of Ellis Park. "We are hopeful that we can carry this momentum throughout our meet."
Ellis Park gave away baseball caps to the first 3,500 paid admissions and also offered 10-cent superfectas for the first time. The sixth race saw a dime investment in the superfecta return more than $10,000. Two winning superfecta tickets – one sold out of the Maine wagering hub, and one sold at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. – returned $10,848.28 in that race.
"Payouts like today's are the exact reason we decided to offer the 10 cents supers. Anytime race fans can turn a dime into $10,000; it just breeds excitement," said Kuerzi.
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