Kentucky’s Ellis Park Racetrack Will Have $14M In Summer Meet Purses

Written By Matthew Bain on May 24, 2023 - Last Updated on June 28, 2023
Ellis Park summer meet purse, from

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming officials announced Wednesday the horse racetrack will offer a record $14 million in purses for its summer meet.

The racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky, will run its summer meet from July 7 to Aug. 27. Over those 24 days, Ellis Park will have an average purse of $584,200 per day, adding up to a Kentucky horse betting purse of $14,021,000 in total.

That daily purse figure is $170,000 more per day than what Ellis Park offered in 2022.

“We’re incredibly excited to begin another racing season at Ellis Park,” Ellis Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork said in a press release. “Through the continued investments of Churchill Downs Incorporated, our overnight and stakes purses will be the highest in the history of Ellis Park.”

18 stakes races at Ellis Park this summer

In total, Ellis Park will host 18 stakes races during its summer meet. The headliner is the $300,000 Pucker Up Stakes (Grade III) on Aug. 6. That race leads the Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend from Aug. 5-7. That weekend card includes:

  • $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Mint Millions Turf Mile
  • $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Dueling Grounds Derby
  • $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Mint Ladies Turf Sprint
  • $250,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup
  • $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Mile
  • $200,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint

Winners of those events will gain entry to the corresponding events at Kentucky Downs.

Aug. 13 is another big day at Ellis Park, with six stakes races. The $250,000 Ellis Park Derby will be the main draw that day.

More information on Ellis Park

Owned by Churchill Downs Inc., Ellis Park is one of nine active or soon-to-be-active Kentucky horse racing venues. Located right by the Indiana border, Ellis Park’s racetrack seats 6,000 and it also has an attached gambling hall with 297 historical horse racing machines. That makes it the smallest HHR gambling venue in Kentucky.

All nine Kentucky horse racetracks, plus Kentucky Speedway, are eligible to offer retail sportsbooks when Kentucky sports betting launches later this year. They can also pair with up to three operators for online sportsbooks, as well.

Ellis Park has yet to announce any sports betting operator partnerships.

Two of its counterparts, Keeneland and The Red Mile, have inked a deal with Caesars Sportsbook KY.

Photo by Ellis Park
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as a Content Manager for PlayKentucky and other Catena Media sites in 2022. He covered the launch of Massachusetts sports betting and the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 battle in California. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.

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