When the Kentucky racing circuit shifts from Louisville to Henderson next week, patrons and horsemen at Ellis Park will get a look at some of the upgrades that are part of a $600,000 capital improvement plan.
Ellis Park, which opens Wednesday, is nicknamed the “Pea Patch” even though soybeans haven't been grown in the infield for about 10 years. That changed this year, as a new crop was planted at the racetrack that borders the Ohio River.
Other improvements include a paved parking lot for owners and trainers, new theater seats in the open-air grandstand, remodeled concession areas, a paint job, and a new air-conditioning unit in the Sky Theatre, where one of the track's restaurants is located.
The photo finish and timing systems also were upgraded. Now, races will be timed in hundredths of a second instead of fifths of a second.
Ellis Park will race on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule each week through Labor Day. In a change from previous years, first post time each day is set for 12:40 p.m. (CDT).
The spring meet at Churchill Downs will end Sunday with the $125,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.