The $600,000-guaranteed grade III Delaware Handicap highlights the $4.4 million (including Breeders' Cup and NATC funds) stakes schedule at Delaware Park this year. The 1 1/4-mile classic for fillies and mares is slated for July 21. The "Del 'Cap" will be televised nationally on ESPN2 as part of the "Road to the Breeders' Cup" series.
The $250,000 Leonard Richards, to be run June 8, will join the Delaware Handicap, Delaware Oaks, Kent Breeders' Cup, and Endine Stakes as the fifth grade III event on the stakes schedule.
Stakes on Del' Cap weekend will be worth approximately $1.425 million. This years Del 'Cap Day undercard includes the $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at a mile and an eighth on the turf and the $75,000 Light Hearted Stakes for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward at six furlongs.
On July 20, the 3-year-old fillies will be showcased in the $250,000 Delaware Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth. The Oaks card will be supported by the $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward at mile and three-eighths on the turf and the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial for 3-year-olds and upward at a mile and a sixteenth.
Eight stakes with significant purses increases are the $100,000 Blue Hen Stakes, the $100,000 Brandywine Stakes, the $200,000 Caesar Rodney Handicap, the $100,000 Dover Stakes, the $100,000 Kelso Stakes, the $250,000 Leonard Richards Stakes, the $100,000 Nastique Stakes, and $175,000 the Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup.
The 139-day meet opens April 27 and ends Nov. 17. Races will be run Sunday through Tuesday. Wednesdays will be added May 22 through October 9. Daily post-time for the first race is 12:45 p.m.