Ellis Park was built by the Green River Jockey Club in 1922. It initially held a harness meeting on the Grand Circuit for the total of $32,000 in purses for a five-day race meeting. On November 10, 1922, a 10-day thoroughbred meet with purses of $62,000 was held. The meet was a stop on the train route south to New Orleans for winter racing at Fair Grounds Race Course.
These short meets didn't meet the needs of the track and in 1925, after three years of operation, the Green River Jockey Club went bankrupt. In 1925 James C. Ellis, a Rockport businessman, purchased the track, then called Dade Park. He brought about many changes at the track including adding a tote board wagering system and a terrace grandstand. The facility was renamed Ellis Park in 1954. James Ellis died in 1956.
In 2012, Geary sold a 30 percent stake in Ellis Park to the Saratoga Casino and Raceway for $4 million, to help fund the installation of Instant Racing machines. Saratoga purchased the remaining 70 percent in 2018. In June 2019 Ellis Park was sold to Ellis Entertainment a subsidiary of Laguna Development Corporation based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ellis Entertainment has plans for investing $60 million to build a new historical racing facility, widening of the turf course, installing lights for the track and improving barns and restaurants throughout the facility.
Among the stakes race run at Ellis Park, is their signature race and only Graded stakes race the Groupie Doll Stakes which is a Grade III event. Other listed stakes races that are run at Ellis Park include: the Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Turf, the Governor's Handicap, the Tri-State Handicap and the Audubon Oaks.
The track was designed after the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, and features a 1.125-mile dirt track. The track features chutes for seven-furlong and one-mile (1.6 km) races. A one-mile (1.6 km) turf course was installed in 1993. The facility is 210 acres (0.85 km2) and has a 6,000-seat grandstand and 38 barns. It is the only track in the country to contain a one-mile (1.6 km) chute at a 90-degree angle by the first turn. This is because Saratoga Race Course used to have this type of chute to run one-mile (1.6 km) races, called the Wilson Chute.