01/22/2014 5:15PM

Delaware Park: 2014 stakes schedule reduced to 12 races, $2.1 million

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Continuing a trend from last year, Delaware Park has made further cuts in its stakes program for 2014.

The stakes schedule released Wednesday by the track near Wilmington contains just six stakes for open company. Overall, there are 12 stakes worth a collective $2.1 million, a decrease of three stakes and $250,000 from 2013. The 2014 stakes include four races for Delaware-certified horses and two others restricted to horses who have started in non-stakes during the meet.Just two years ago, Delaware offered 19 stakes worth a collective $2.82 million. In 2013, Delaware scheduled 15 stakes worth $2.35 million.
Dropped from this year’s schedule are the $100,000 Barbaro for 3-year-olds and a pair of $75,000 races, the John Rooney for older fillies and mares on turf and the Go for Wand, the local prep for the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks.
The purses for a pair of Grade 3 events, the Obeah and the Kent, were adjusted so that both races are worth $150,000 apiece. That represents a $50,000 hike for the Obeah, the local prep for the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, and a $50,000 cut for the Kent, which has been repositioned from Sept. 7 to Sept. 20.

Four of the open stakes will be contested on the two biggest weekends of Delaware’s season. On July 5, the $300,000 Delaware Oaks will be supported by the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert Dick Memorial for fillies and mares on turf. A week later, the $750,000 Delaware Handicap headlines a card that includes the $100,000 Sweet and Sassy for female sprinters.