01/22/2014 5:15PM

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


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.

Diane Hain More than 1 year ago
The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle. Yes, management doesn't give a hoot about the racing product. With that lovely picnic grove it could have been a wonderfully popular racing venue with fans. Being a mile oval, as opposed to tiny Charles Town, Delaware Park should have been the track attracting horses like Game On Dude by adding to the stakes calendar rather than reducing it. Having attracted a lot of good horsemen and horses from MD and PA with slots infused purses years ago, Delaware Park could have kept them if only management had cared! But since DE management doesn't give a hoot, as soon as PA and MD purses began growing from slots horsemen were happy to go there instead. So it really seems to be a combination of the two.
Mike Malaspina More than 1 year ago
The nice part is if they lose horse racing... They will lose everything! And that's what they deserve.. To lose it all. Slots, table games and parlay cards were only allowed with the intent to help horse racing in the state of Delaware. Not diminish it. Obviously slots, table games and parlay cards are all the owners of Del Park care about. Alot of things could have been done to improve racing there but were neglected for new machines, poker tournaments and alas worrying about adding over unders. Trainers & owners alike complain how bad the backsides are, the track condition, it goes on and on. Its my home track or but i like to call it.... Worst thoroughbred track in north America!
Kelly Frazier More than 1 year ago
5 horse fields in almost every race with each having two even money or less horses has taken it's toll on this track.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Maryland Slots is what has taken its toll on Delaware.
Christopher More than 1 year ago
The surrounding States have nothing to do with this. The Track just doesn't care about the Racing product or the racing fan--as a long time customer, I can tell you it just keeps getting worse and worse. The overall caliber of the racing has taken a nosedive in the past two years, while "notorious" drug-cheat Trainers have dominated the meets. As a bettor, there is little value being offered. As a customer who generally has a very high handle, I would get better comps by playing penny slots. My opinion is that the Owner wants to run the gambling business into the ground and hope that a real-estate developer comes along and makes a large offer for the property. You have to realize that this is a large parcel of land--racetrack, high quality golf course and slot casino that still draws people--not to mention the quasi-Sports betting (football parlay cards).
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
all the surrounding states picking up slots and casinos is taking its toll on delaware park.
duke More than 1 year ago
that's a shame