02/18/2008 12:00AM

Juveniles get four new stakes


Four new turf stakes for 2-year-olds, including one designed as a prep for the Breeders' Cup, and a pair of listed races upgraded to Grade 3 status are among the most notable changes on the 2008 stakes schedule at Delaware Park.

The 32 stakes, worth a collective $5.3 million, will as usual be highlighted by the $1 million Delaware Handicap. The Grade 2 Delaware Handicap headlines Delaware's $2.5 million Festival of Racing, a weekend package of seven stakes on July 12-13.

The two-day event also includes the Robert G. Dick Memorial BC, a $300,000 turf race for fillies and mares that has been awarded Grade 3 status.

The other new Grade 3 on the schedule is the Obeah Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile race that received a $50,000 purse increase to $300,000 and is the local prep for the Delaware Handicap.

Two of the new juvenile stakes, the Go for the Green and the Fairway Fillies, are worth $100,000 apiece and will be run on Sept. 13. The Go for the Green was created to serve as a prep for the BC Juvenile Turf.

The other two new turf stakes, the Small Wonder and First State Dash, are five-furlong races restricted to Delaware-certified horses.

The Kelso Stakes has been moved to Aug. 23 and lengthened to 1 1/2 miles to position the race better as a prep for the new BC Marathon.