I love watching the horses run, but that's not the main reason why I have such an affinity for Ellis Park, although horses--naturally--come into play.

You see, I'm not great at gambling. It's pointless for me to buy a lottery ticket because in the 35-year history of the Kentucky Lottery, I have never scratched off so much as a dime. But at Ellis Park a few years ago, a horse called Pacifier just sang to me so I put a little money on him and won $45. That's like, what, two meals at a nice restaurant? Regardless, I was ecstatic.

I scored $225 in Las Vegas in 1992 and had a good night at a poker table about 20 years ago, but that's been about it for me and gambling.

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Churchill Downs Announces Owensboro Timeline

None of that, of course, will stop me from patronizing the new Churchill Downs facility when it comes to Owensboro. Last spring, the iconic racing complex changed tracks, ever so slightly, announcing it will locate its new facility outside the city limits in Daviess County.

But now we have more information about the new casino-like extension of Ellis Park which Churchill Downs owns. It looks like we're about a year away from the big day.

Since the likelihood exists that folks who've never ventured into such an establishment might now do so since it would be more convenient, there are terms you may have just heard that you don't understand.

Retail Sports Book, Historical Racing Machines, Simulcast Racing

Never heard these terms before? Well then, class is in session. Retail sports book simply refers to a place to gamble, like...you guessed it...a casino. Simulcast racing is pretty self-explanatory, and if you had to guess what it is, you'd probably be right. You watch races at other locations while at the casino and you wager on them. As for historical racing machines? I've heard of those but was never quite sure. But when I learned, it made perfect sense:

Historical horse racing (HHR), originally known as Instant Racing, is an electronic gambling product that allows players to bet on replays of horse races or dog races that have already been run, using terminals that typically resemble slot machines.

The first quarter of 2025 should prove to be pretty exciting for Daviess County. We've never had anything like Owensboro Racing & Gaming in town, and folks are ready based on the word of mouth (how old school, right?) I've heard.

Plus, having an iconic brand like Churchill Downs in the community can only be a boon for tourism and new business. Bring it, says me.

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