12/28/2005 1:00AM

Racing will resume at Ellis


Ellis Park, the Henderson, Ky., racetrack ravaged by a tornado Nov. 6, will conduct its scheduled 36-day race meet in 2006, Churchill Downs Inc. officials announced in a release issued Wednesday afternoon.

The 2006 meet at Ellis Park, as well as the financially troubled track's long-term future, had been in doubt after it incurred damage to its barn area, racing office, jockeys' quarters, grandstand, tote board, starting gate, and safety rail.

"We still have much work to do in the aftermath of the tornado, but we are confident that Ellis Park will be in good shape for its 2006 meet," Churchill Downs and Ellis Park president Steve Sexton said in the release.

Sexton said repairs for most parts of the facility are underway. The status of some portions of the more seriously damaged sections of the facility - including 11 barns that were destroyed by the tornado's winds and the grandstand Turf Terrace - remains uncertain, the release said. The track's 2006 meet is scheduled from July 19 through Sept. 4.