Ellis Park Races, Advertising Ashtray
- Ellis Park Races, Advertising Ashtray
- circa 1959
- very good condition
Ellis Park was built by the Green River Jockey Club in 1922. It initially held a harness meeting on the Grand Circuit for the total of $32,000 in purses for a five day race meeting. On November 10, 1922 a 10-day thoroughbred meet with purses of $62,000 was held. The meet was a stop on the train route south to New Orleans for winter racing at Fair Grounds Race Course.
These short meets didn't meet the needs of the track and in 1925, after three years of operation, the Green River Jockey Club went bankrupt. In 1925 James C. Ellis, a Rockport businessman, purchased the track, then called Dade Park. He brought about many changes at the track including adding a totalisator wagering system and a terrace grandstand. The facility was renamed Ellis Park in 1954. James Ellis died in 1956.
The track management was then led by Ellis's nephew, Lester E. Yeager. Under Yeager's leadership a new paddock and jockey's quarters were built, as well as a new clubhouse and stable areas. He gave leadership to Ruth Adkins in the mid-1960s.
Adkins was the chief officer of the James C. Ellis estate, which still owned the track, businesses, and real estate in Kentucky and Indiana. The track was sold in 1985 to Roger and Lila Kumar. They built a sky terrace atop the Grandstand and pushed for the inter-track wagering legislation in Kentucky. They, in turn, sold the track to the Racing Corporation of America in 1989. The company sold the track to Churchill Downs Incorporated in 1998.