03/02/2007 12:00AM

Richards renamed for Barbaro


The Leonard Richards Stakes, one of five graded races at Delaware Park, has been renamed the Barbaro Stakes.

The Grade 3, $300,000 Barbaro for 3-year-olds, one of seven stakes that will be run during Delaware Handicap weekend July 14-15, is the most significant change on the 2007 stakes calendar. Renaming the Richards in honor of Barbaro was the suggestion of Izzy Trejo, the track's new racing secretary.

"To be able to honor such a tenaciously spirited horse, whose remarkable career started here at Delaware Park in 2005, with its own stakes race, makes the racing family here at Delaware Park extremely proud," Trejo said.

As usual, the meet's centerpiece will be the $1 million Delaware Handicap on July 15 and the $500,000 Delaware Oaks on July 14.

Also on Delaware Handicap weekend, the $100,000 Light Hearted, a sprint for fillies and mares, has been changed from six furlongs on dirt to five furlongs on turf. The move is clearly an attempt to attract more horses after the race was contested by just four runners last summer and only three in 2004.

Two minor races for Delaware-certified horses received $25,000 purse increases to $75,000.

Moving around on the schedule are the Go for Wand, which goes from the last weekend in May to Sept. 1, and the Sweet n Sassy, which flip-flops with the Peach Blossom, now set for May 19, to become the meet's first stakes on April 28.