Record $1.1 Million in Stakes Purses Available at Ellis Park

The $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) highlights the 2004 stakes schedule at Ellis Park, worth a record $1.1 million. Total purses for the 11 stakes races scheduled during the 54-day meet, which opens July 7 and continues through Sept. 6, reflects an overall increase of $25,000 from the track's 2003 stakes calendar.

Four of the track's stakes events will see changes in either distance or purse size in 2004. Two stakes slated for the meet's closing weekend saw their purses climb by $25,000 to $100,000. The Sept. 4 Dade Park Turf Classic and the Sept. 6 Tri-State Handicap will each be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Both races were run at 1 1/8 miles in 2003.

The $100,000 added Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, to be contested on Aug. 14, will see its distance extended by a sixteenth of a mile to 6 1/2 furlongs.

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