07/27/2011 2:05PM

Delaware Park closing turf course for maintenance


Last week’s scorching temperatures and the anticipation that another heat wave is on its way this weekend has caused Delaware Park to close its turf course for the next two weeks.

In an announcement to horsemen printed on the overnight sheet for Saturday’s races, the track near Wilmington, Del., stated a combination of high temperatures and little rain has created a need to shut down the turf course from Sunday through Aug. 15. During that time, the maintenance crew plans to reseed the course and heavily water it, in the hope of reviving the grass so turf racing season can be extended into the fall.

Delaware’s last two turf races before the temporary closure, a second-level optional $40,000 claimer for fillies and mares, and a first-level allowance, both at 1 1/16 miles, are scheduled for Saturday.

The turf course’s closing will not affect Delaware’s stakes program. The track has only one stakes scheduled during August, the Grade 3 Endine, a six-furlong sprint on the main track for fillies and mares.