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Oct 30, 2009

Ellis Park announces temporary closing

By: SPORTS NETWORK


 

Henderson, KY (Sports Network) - Ellis Park Racetrack has announced that it will shutdown its simulcast operations at the conclusion of satellite racing on Sunday, November 8. The track will restart simulcast operations on Thursday, April 1, 2010.

Live racing at the western Kentucky facility will begin in 2010 on Saturday, July 10 and continue through Labor Day, September 6 with a total of 27 live race days scheduled.

"While the closing of the track comes as no surprise to some, it was still a very difficult decision to make," Ron Geary, owner of Ellis Park said. "We will do whatever it takes to assist our employees during this difficult time and hope that many of them return in April.

"It is because of the continued support from our fans, employees, the community and the horsemen that we expect to reopen next year."

Closing of simulcast operations affects approximately seventy-five employees, both full and part-time. A skeleton staff will remain working in preparation for the 2010 racing season.

"I still believe the only way to salvage Kentucky's horse industry is to do what other states have already proved to be successful, and that is to add VLTs (slot machines) to the racetracks," Geary added. "We have to keep fighting in order to keep jobs, revenue and the tradition of the horse industry in the great state of Kentucky."

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved on Tuesday a total of 206 racing days for 2010, a reduction of about 25-percent from 2009.



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