Ellis Park

Ellis Park

Tom LaMarra

Entry Box Strong for Ellis Park Opener July 4

Concerns about racing surface quieted as 95 horses are named to nine-race program.

Ninety-five horses were entered for the nine-race opening day card July 4 at Ellis Park, quieting concerns about how trainers would react to the condition of the dirt racing surface at the Henderson, Ky., track.

Entries for Thursday's Independence Day program were taken June 29. The total number of starters for the opener included eight also-eligible entrants in the day's final two races.

Ellis Park was closed to training for three days, June 23-25, as maintenance crews worked tirelessly to remove an excess amount of rock that was in sand recently added to replenish the main track's racing surface. Ellis reopened June 26 and has been posting regular workout information for the past three days.

Management announced June 27 that that it was "over the hump" in its efforts to clean up the track in time for the start of its 29-day meet. Horsemen began expressing concern about the condition of the track after it opened for training May 20.