Ellis Park

Ellis Park

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KEEP Hosting Rally to Promote Ellis Park

The rally will take place Aug. 22 at the Henderson, Ky., racetrack.

With Ellis Park considering closing its doors, the Kentucky Equine Education Project is organizing a "Forever Ellis!" rally Aug. 22 at the racetrack as a way for horse industry enthusiasts to show their support for the nearly 90-year-old facility and the entire equine industry in the state.

Though Ellis Park is having a successful, though much shorter, meet thus far this summer, owner Ron Geary hasn't said the Henderson, Ky., track will race in 2010. Chances are good he will apply for dates to protect the track's traditional two-month window from early July through Labor Day.

It's expected another push for racetrack gaming will come during the Kentucky General Assembly session that begins in January 2010.

Ellis Park is unable to offer purses that compete with other states’ purses that are supplemented by gaming revenue. As a result, some owners and trainers are choosing to race their horses elsewhere.

KEEP said Aug. 13 that speakers from across the state have been invited to share their concerns about the future of Ellis Park and of the industry as a whole at the Aug. 22 rally, which starts at 2:15 p.m. CDT during the live racing program. A parade of breeds will take place; all breeds in Kentucky would get a slice of revenue from racetrack video lottery terminals under legislation prepared earlier this year.