Total wagering on the 2018 Ellis Park meet was $37,480,814, spread over 28 full days of racing and a 29th day that was canceled after two races because of excessive heat. A water main break forced cancellation of another day, Aug. 26. While total wagering was down $899,735 over 2017, last year’s meet ran 31 days, with two cards abbreviated when storms caused flooding.
Wagering in July totaled $17,572,654 for 14 days, picking up to $19,900,163 for the remaining 14 days, the increase coming almost exclusively from simulcast wagering. Ellis Park ran a total of 251 races, averaging eight horses per race, down slightly from last year’s 8.2 starters per race.
“From a racing standpoint and fan support, the entire meet was fabulous,” said Ellis Park general manager Jeff Hall. “From an overall wagering standpoint, it was like two separate meets. With the sale of 100-percent interest to Saratoga Casino & Hospitality Group almost halfway through the meet, we increased advertising in the simulcast market and the results were notable. The last half of the summer wasn’t winding down a meet but, really, setting the groundwork for a superb 2019 racing season. We can’t wait to see everyone back here for racing next summer, but also want to remind people that we remain open as a year-round entertainment venue with simulcasting and historical horse racing.”