5 Things Thoroughbreds Love About Ellis Park

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in Henderson, Kentucky is one of four tracks in Kentucky that hosts live Thoroughbred racing. We’ve been talking with  the track’s most popular visitors, the Thoroughbreds themselves, to give us their top five reasons why they love racing at Ellis Park!

A jockey signs an autograph for a little girl in the crowd at Ellis Park

1. Their Fans

Ellis Park fans travel near and far to support these beauties! Fans can get up close to their favorite racers while they are in the paddock or entering the winner’s circle. The fans are counting on the horses, rooting for them, and enjoying the race right along with them. Free admission keeps the fans coming back to support the Thoroughbreds race after race! With the stands full of supporters, the Thoroughbreds are sure to stay motivated for a win!

Fans gather under the jockey silk banners and clear Christmas lights hanging from the rafters under Ellis Park's grand stand

2. The Thrill

Will you pick the fastest horse? The horse with the strangest name? Or maybe you like to wait until they’re called to post to make your pick! The excitement of getting ready and the rush of coming out of the gate build the thrill of the race for the Thoroughbreds and human spectators alike. Whether it be from the exit of the gate or the closeness of the win, thrill is always a guarantee at Ellis Park.


A tight finish between three thoroughbred horses racing at Ellis Park

3. The Competition

Not only do they get to enjoy the thrill of the race, but also their competition in each race. The thoroughbreds get to share their love of good competition with their fans and keep them on their toes. Not a single race is the same as another, which makes for a great experience each and every time.

A jockey waves to the crowd while riding an ostrich at Ellis Park's annual camel and ostrich races

Image by COADY Photography

4. Watching Other Races

Occasionally, even the Thoroughbreds get a vacation! Watching the annual wiener dog races, ostrich races, and camel races on the oval track are two fun traditions that Ellis Park hosts for their fans. The festivities bring out a lot of new faces in the grandstand. These events are great family-friendly activities to get kids introduced to Kentucky’s racing heritage. 

A black and white photo from 1923 of a stable mate posing with a thoroughbred horse in the stables at Ellis Park (formerly Dade Park)

5. The History

Ellis Park has a long history of racing dating back to 1922, when the track was formerly know as Dade Park. The 6,000-seater grandstand has seen thousands of people at every race since then. Carrying on the tradition and legacy that the original racers left behind is a part of the joy that comes with racing on the track today. Horse racing is one of the world’s oldest sporting events and a longstanding Kentucky tradition. 


Know Before You Go:

See for yourself why Ellis Park makes for a great place to visit! With live racing kicking off on July 2, the thrill of the track is calling your name. In response to COVID-19, while the grandstand and outdoor seating will remain empty for now, Ellis Park’s indoor amenities, such as the Turf Club, the Sky Theatre, and Terrace Lounge, will be operating at 50% capacity. Making a reservation to secure your spot is recommended. For more information visit ellisparkracing.com.