01/19/2010 1:00AM

Delaware adds days to 2010 meet


The Delaware Racing Commission has approved 116 days of racing at Delaware Park for 2010. Delaware Park, which houses more than 2,500 slot machines, raced 109 days last year, down from 136 in 2008.

Last year's meet was originally scheduled for 116 days but was further reduced after the state legislature passed a bill lowering the horsemen's share of slot machine revenue at the track by 10 percent.

Delaware's shorter 2009 meet resulted in increases in field size, average daily handle, and total handle. Despite racing 27 fewer days, total handle at the meet was up 1.9 percent to $169 million and average handle was up 27.1 percent to $1.55 million a day. Field size increased to 7.73 horses per race from 6.94 in 2008.

The meet will begin Kentucky Derby Day, May 1, and race through Nov. 6. Racing will be held Saturdays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Thursdays added from July 15 through Aug. 26.

Delaware is home to a pair of Grade 2 stakes. The Delaware Oaks will be run July 10 and the Delaware Handicap on July 17.