Chad Harmon

Delaware Handicap Headlines 81-Day Meet

Grade I test for fillies and mares one of five graded races at Delaware Park in 2015.

The $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) is the highlight of the 2015 stakes schedule at Delaware Park once more this season, the biggest of five graded events on the calendar at the Wilmington track.

The 1 1/4-mile filly and mare summer classic will be run for the 78th time July 18. The Delaware Park meet meet features 81 racing days from May 16 through Oct. 17. 

Last year, the Del 'Cap was run as a grade I race for the second time since 1989.  Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith's Belle Gallantey upset the heavy favorite, Princess of Sylmar, by 2 3/4 lengths.

"The Delaware Handicap has always been an important date on the national filly and mare stake schedule and last year was no exception," said John Mooney, Delaware Park's executive director of racing. "With her impressive win over Princess of Sylmar, Belle Gallantey established herself as a major contender in the division last year and I congratulate her connections on their successful 2014 campaign. We look forward to another exciting Delaware Handicap in 2015."

The supporting feature on the Del 'Cap card is the $200,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the grass. The local Delaware Handicap prep race, $100,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles, will run June 20.

The $300,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. III), for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, is July 11.  Since its inaugural race in 1938, five Hall of Fame fillies including Gallant Bloom and Gallorette, and nearly 20 divisional champions including recent winners Blind Luck and Proud Spell, have won the Oaks. 

The supporting feature on the Delaware Oaks card will be the  Robert G. Dick Memorial (gr. IIIT).  The 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares has a guaranteed purse of $200,000.

The $2 million stakes schedule will culminate with Owners' Day Sept. 12.  The 23rd annual Owners' Day card will feature six restricted stake races worth $75,000 each.

In May, live racing at Delaware Park will be held three days per week on a Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday schedule.  Live racing will be added on Tuesdays from June 1 through Sept. 1. Beginning on Sept. 8, Tuesdays will be dropped from the schedule and live racing will revert back to a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday schedule through closing day. First post time is set for 1:15 p.m. ET daily.
 

2015 DELAWARE PARK STAKES SCHEDULE
RUNS

RACE

S/A

DIST

PURSE

June 20

Obeah Stakes (Gr. III)

FM3+

1M 1/8

$100,000

July 11

Delaware Oaks (Gr. III)

F3

1M 1/16

$300,000

July 11

Robert G. Dick Memorial (Gr. III)

FM3+

1M 3/8T

$200,000

July 18

Delaware Handicap (Gr. I)

FM3+

1M 1/4

$750,000

July 18

Kent Stakes (Gr. III)

3

1M 1/8T

$200,000

Sept. 12

Tax Free Distaff (Del Bred/Cert)•

F&M3+

6F

$75,000

Sept. 12

New Castle (Del Bred/Cert)•

3+

6F

$75,000

Sept. 12

Small Wonder (Del Bred/Cert)•       

F2           

5F

$75,000

Sept. 12

First State Dash (Del Bred/Cert)•

2

5F

$75,000

Sept. 12

DTHA Governors Cup ••

3+

1M 70yds

$75,000

Sept. 12

George Rosenberger Mem.••

FM3+

1M 1/16T

$75,000

• - Restricted to Delaware-bred and/or Certified horses.
••- Restricted to horses who made a start at Delaware Park in 2014 (stake races excluded).