Churchill Downs' anticipated sale of Ellis Park to a company headed by Kentucky businessman Ron Geary is complete, finalizing a deal that was announced in July. Terms of the sale were not disclosed in a press release issued Sept. 29 by Churchill Downs.Geary headed operations at Ellis Park during its 2006 race meet as part of a management agreement with Churchill Downs, which in 1998 reportedly paid about $22 million for the Henderson, Ky. track.Churchill Downs will continue to offer the Ellis Park signal through its Churchill Downs Simulcast Network, the release said. On Sept. 25, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority approved 46 live race dates for Ellis Park's 2007 racing season, from July 4 through Sept. 3. Per the sales agreement, five dates around the July 4 holiday will overlap with Churchill Downs meet."This is a thrilling day for me and the beginning of a new and vibrant future for Ellis Park," Geary said in the release. "I am looking forward to a continued close working relationship with the Ellis Park team as we welcome the 2007 Claiming Crown and guide the track's ongoing growth and success. We were all pleased with fan reaction to our 2006 meet, and we plan to carry that momentum forward into 2007 and beyond."The track is the second sold by Churchill Downs in the last year. Last September, the company completed its sale of Hollywood Park for $260 million.
TrackNet Media Group will offer Aug. 4 Claiming Crown racing at Ellis Park to arch-rivals TVG and Youbet.com, though a company executive said the move doesn’t indicate a softening of the hard lines drawn by the parties.