Delaware Sets Dates, But Still No Contract

Delaware Park plans to race from May 18-Nov. 9 this year but, as was the case in 2012, the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission approved the dates even though a contract with horsemen isn't in place.

The track and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have been negotiating on and off for months on a 2013 contract. Last year the contract was signed before the meet began.

Delaware THA executive director Bessie Gruwell confirmed Feb. 28 there is no contract between the two parties. The track applied for 100 live racing days this year.

The full schedule proposed by the track is not yet available, but the first condition book has been released. It calls for racing four days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The purse structure is similar to that of 2012, with maiden special weight events going for $38,000 on dirt and $35,000 on turf. The minimum claiming price will be $5,000 for winners and $7,500-$6,500 for maidens.

Arabian races, which in previous years have helped Delaware Park fill racing programs, will be carded again this year. A complete stakes schedule isn't available, but the Delaware Handicap, elevated to grade I status this year, is set for July 20, a Saturday.

The condition book is missing information on the Delaware Certified Program, which awards purse bonuses for horses that were domiciled in the state for a period of time. The Delaware THA confirmed the program will continue.

In 2013, the purse bonuses are 15% for the owner and 15% for the certifier for horses that finish first, second, or third in any Thoroughbred race.

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