Churchill Downs Building Ellis Park Historical Horse Racing Facility

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on June 23, 2023
a blurred picture of slot machines representing historical horse racing terminals that will be at ellis park

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced that it plans to build a new  historical racing machine (HRM) entertainment venue in eastern Daviess County, Kentucky.

As revealed via the company’s press release on June 19, CDI secured a site outside the Owensboro city limits in eastern Daviess County in Kentucky.

The company will build its previously announced historical HRM entertainment venue as an annex to the Ellis Park racetrack, home to the Kentucky horse racing circuit’s Summer Meet.

Churchill Downs issues release confirming its plans

Churchill Downs didn’t reveal many details. The company’s Monday statement reads:

“The Company has secured a site in eastern Daviess County, outside of the Owensboro city limits, to build its previously announced historical racing machine (“HRM”) entertainment venue as an annex of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming (“Ellis Park”).”

The new facility will also support purse funding for Ellis Park race meets.

Churchill Downs said it would provide development updates along with investment plans and announce the property’s location soon.

Churchill Downs suspended its racing operations on June 7

Earlier this month, CDI said it would suspend its current spring and summer racing schedule to move races to Ellis Park in Henderson County.

The announcement came in the wake of 12 horse deaths at Churchill Downs. The racetrack owner and gaming operator recently revealed new safety initiatives and preventive measures.

Churchill Downs finalized the Ellis Park acquisition in 2022

The Louisville-based racetrack operator acquired Ellis Park from Enchantment Holdings, an affiliate of Laguna Development Corporation, in 2022.

The $79 million agreement was subject to specific working capital and price adjustments but was finalized in September last year.

In the company’s press release, Churchill Downs’ CEO, Bill Carstanjen, said:

“Our team is already hard at work in both Henderson and Owensboro. In the coming days, we look forward to sharing more about our plans to invest in the racing infrastructure at Ellis Park and to drive significant purse improvement through the Owensboro historical racing opportunity.”

Churchill initially planned to invest in Ellis Park’s racing infrastructure and construct Owensboro Racing & Gaming. It is a track annex and entertainment location at Owensboro’s Towne Square Mall.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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