Take a drive about two hours west of Louisville towards Evansville and you'll find Ellis Park, a quaint little racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky; literally at the edge of Kentucky and Indiana.
I took a trip over to Ellis Park last week, knowing that I was headed toward Henderson, Kentucky, but was surprised to find myself in Evansville, Indiana, or so I thought.
I thought I was in Indiana because I crossed the Ohio River as I embarked on my journey up I-64 from Louisville, but I never crossed back over the river before reaching my destination in Henderson, Kentucky. Grade school geography class was a long time ago, but I thought the river was one of Kentucky's natural borders. It took a trip like this to make me say "hmm" and check the map to see that the Ohio River's twists and turns creates a very small portion of Kentucky on the opposite side of the river.
If this isn't interesting enough to make you take the trip to Ellis Park, maybe this is. This Saturday, Ellis Park will host their annual ostrich and camel races. The camel race is scheduled to run around 2:45 CST and the ostrich race around 4:00 CST. Unfortunately, there are no past performances or jockey assignments posted for these exotic races. Churchill Downs regulars Calvin Borel and Jon Court are scheduled to ride in most every race Saturday, so there's a good chance they'll be in these races as well.
Throughout the meet, Ellis Park offers a variety of unique accompaniments to their traditional thoroughbred racing cards. They held their Championship Weiner Dog races earlier in July which featured some speedy dachshunds making the temporary change from household pet to racetrack sprinter. Ellis Park hosted a Ladies Day event last weekend which featured prizes, a hat contest, special vendors, food, and drink specials.
The meet's featured thoroughbred race is the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes for fillies and mares which is scheduled for August 13.
Live racing runs through Labor Day, September 5th. However, Ellis Park doesn't stop entertaining the masses. On September 10 country musician Josh Turner will perform at the track as the headliner of the Taste of Country. Ticketing information can be found at Eventbrite.com.
So, who's making the road trip this weekend?
Photo: Courtesy Ellis Park