Ellis Park Opens for 2013 Racing Season
Category : News
Tue 09/07/2013 - 21:03 EDT
Ellis Park, located in Henderson, Kentucky, kicked off its 2013 live racing season on Independence Day, and racing fans in northwest Kentucky and southern Indiana can look forward to 29 days of racing action from now to Labor Day. Although the address of Ellis Park is Henderson, the track is actually located on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. Ellis Park was first opened in 1922 and since then has survived floods and tornados to become a mainstay on the US racing circuit.
Grade III Gardenia Stakes goes in early August
The premier event of the Ellis Park racing calendar is the $150,000 Grade III Gardenia Stakes, for three-year-old an up fillies and mares, going a flat mile on the dirt. The Gardenia was the first chance for racing fans to witness a future star in the speedy Groupie Doll. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Bowman’s Band earned her first graded-stakes victory in the 2011 Gardenia before going on to a spectacular 2012 campaign capped off with a win in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Filly and Mare Sprint. After an extended layoff, she’s expected to defend that title for 2013.
Weekend racing and daily simulcasts
Along with top horses, some of the top jockeys in the country spend their summer days racing at Ellis Park, including multiple Triple Crown race winner Calvin Borel and 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Brian Hernandez Jr. Live racing is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus Closing Day of Monday, September 2. The first post for live racing is at 12:50 PM CT, while simulcast watching and wagering is available everyday starting at 10 AM. With 90 years of live racing history to its name, Ellis Park is looking forward to another great meet in 2013.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.