Delaware Gets 100 Days; No Deal With Horsemen

The racing commission Feb. 8 also approved two key race-day medication changes.

Delaware Park was awarded 100 days of live Thoroughbred racing for 2012, but the track has no contract with the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association for the meet.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission Feb. 8 approved the application from Delaware Park for 100 days, down from 106 in 2011 and 113 in 2010. The meet is scheduled for May 12-Nov. 3, with racing four days a week.

Racetrack management and the Delaware THA have been negotiating dates and other issues for some time. Delaware THA executive director Bessie Gruwell confirmed Feb. 8 that horsemen have no contract with the racetrack.

“Horsemen are not in agreement with (the track’s application for dates), but the commission felt compelled to make a decision,” DTRC executive director John Wayne said after what he called a marathon meeting. “The action is consistent with state statute.”

A similar situation developed early last year when the DTRC approved the racing schedule without an agreement between the track and horsemen. Wayne said racing commissioners at the Feb. 8 again urged the parties to strike a deal soon.

“The commission urged them to get back to the table,” Wayne said. “It would be better for them to come to an agreement collectively.”

In other business, the DTRC approved changes in medication rules consistent with Association of Racing Commissioners International model rules. They include elimination of adjunct bleeder medications—specifically aminocaproic acid—on race day, and administration of furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, by a regulatory veterinarian.

Wayne said the DTRC would contract with Dr. Jay Baldwin to handle Salix administration at Delaware Park. The new regulations should be adopted by April, in time for the upcoming meet, he said.