Discover Your Nature

5 Things Horses Love About Ellis Park

Ellis Park Racing in Henderson, Kentucky is one of five tracks in Kentucky that hosts live Thoroughbred racing, a Kentucky staple and tradition that runs deep. It’s no secret that here in Kentucky, our horses are treated more like royalty, and Ellis Park is celebrating 100 years of being a breeding ground for legendary talent on the track. We’ve been talking with the track’s most popular visitors, the horses themselves, to give us their top reasons why they love racing at Ellis Park!

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

1. The Fans

Horse racing enthusiasts travel near and far to Ellis Park to support these beauties! Fans can get up close and personal to their favorites 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 grandstand full of supporters cheering them on, 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 most unique 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. The crowd goes wild with each and every race! Thrill is always a guarantee 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. These horses 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.

4. Watching the Weiners

Occasionally, even the Thoroughbreds get a vacation! Watching the annual weiner dog races is an unforgettably adorable opportunity– and a great chance for the typical athletes to kick back all four hooves and relax! The festivities bring out a lot of new faces in the grandstand, and this event is sure to be a hit with the entire family. This year’s finals are on the docket for Aug. 27, kicking off at 11 a..m.

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. That’s right– Ellis Park is a century-old tradition. 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 lasting through August, the thrill of the track is calling your name. Looking for an exclusive experience at the track? Check out Trackside Sunrise on Friday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Grab breakfast and watch the morning workouts, an experience that will leave you in awe of the beauty of these special animals that train at Ellis Park. Celebrate 100 years of Ellis Park and plan your trip today. For more information visit