Edited press release
Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack hit by a tornado last fall, will take a major step forward in its recovery when it reopens for training June 1.
It will mark the first time in nearly seven months the 1 1/8-mile racing surface will be used for training. Ellis Park suffered significant damage Nov. 6, 2005, when a tornado spawned by a line of severe storms destroyed 11 barns, damaged 11 others, and also battered the track's terrace grandstand, infield tote board, and surrounding buildings.
Repairs continue at the track along the Ohio River. The 36-day live Thoroughbred meet begins July 19 and ends Sept. 4.
"The reopening of Ellis Park for training is a true milestone, both in the history of the racetrack itself and for our employees," Ellis Park vice president and general manager Brian Elmore said. "The efforts of the Ellis Park team in accomplishing this goal have been nothing short of remarkable, and they have shown a great deal of ownership and pride in working to make the track better than ever. We are delighted to welcome back our horsemen and hope they will be pleased with the improvements that have been made."
About 850 stalls are currently available to horsemen, with an additional 200 expected to be ready by opening day as construction is completed on four new barns in the stable area. Horsemen have already submitted more than 800 stall applications for the meet.
Efforts are under way to install a new tote board in the infield and complete repair work to the front tower at the main entrance of Ellis Park. Elmore said he expects all major repairs to be complete and the facility fully operational by opening day.
Full-card simulcasts are offered Wednesday through Sunday year-round.