(Edited Delaware Park report)
With the end of the Churchill Downs spring meet July 5, Delaware Park is expecting an influx of Kentucky horsemen who are seeking more opportunities than will be available at Ellis Park, which has cut the number of live racing dates.
Steve Margolis, Neil Howard, Brad Cox, Robert O’Connor, Wallace Dollase and Helen Pitts-Blasi are among the new outfits shifting their operations east to Delaware Park this summer.
“We will have about twenty horses,” said Margolis. “I talked to some of my clients. We talked about what to do with the Ellis Park meet cutting a lot of days and Delaware was the answer. We have about 32 horses total. We will have about 20 at Delaware and 12 back at Churchill. It is just so hard to stay at Churchill and have 30-plus horses and ship to Ellis and Arlington in the heat of summer… We are just really hoping it works into something good for everybody. We got some 2-year-olds, older horses and some claimers. So, I think we got a nice group that should fit in well.”
Trainer Robert O’Connor will have approximately a dozen horses at Delaware Park.
“I grew up in Kentucky,” said O’Connor. “I have moved around in my career a lot. Having a stable of about 15 horses, it is just not conducive for us to stay at Churchill and ship to Arlington Park, Ellis Park and Presque Isle during the summer months. I have raced in Tampa for the last few years. I picked up a couple clients down there. While I was in Tampa this past winter, Delaware Park sent a contingent… They were down there for a while and I spoke with them a couple of different times. They asked me if I ever thought about relocating. I told them I am a good old Kentucky boy and I had to go to the Churchill meet, but they asked me to keep Delaware Park on my mind. I am looking forward to coming to Delaware.”
Neil Howard will be bringing approximately 22 horses, Helen Pitts-Blasi will have approximately 10, as will Wallace Dollase. Brad Cox will have approximately a dozen stabled at Delaware Park.