The 2006 meet at Ellis Park begins July 19 and ends Sept. 4. Ellis Park was founded in 1922 by James C. Ellis and partners and originally named Dade Park. In 1989, RCA, a subsidiary of Cleveland, Ohio businessman Tinkham Veale II's TVI Corp., purchased the facility. It was previously owned by Roger and Lila Kumar of Tampa, Fla.
Former National Thoroughbred Racing Association executive Terry Meyocks said he is working with a group interested in purchasing Ellis Park from Churchill Downs Inc."We are trying to get a group together and there is some interest," Meyocks said. "I signed a non-disclosure agreement and that is all I can say."CDI has a long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation concerning business deals. Rumors of the sale of Ellis Park have run rampant over the past few years, with CDI reportedly attempting to sell the facility to Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning owner Mike Pegram in 2003. CDI purchased the track, located near Henderson, Ky., in 1998 from Racing Corporation of America for $22 million. The purchase also included the Kentucky Horse Center near Lexington, which was later sold to the Keeneland Association for $5 million. Ellis Park's 200-acre facility features a 1 1/8-mile dirt track and a one-mile turf course. The racetrack suffered severe damage following a tornado that struck the area Nov. 6, destroying 11 barns and severely damaging 11 others. Also battered during the storm were the track's terrace grandstand, infield tote board, and surrounding buildings. The track re-opened for training June 1 with 850 stalls 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.