From a Delaware Park release
“With a filly and mare go to Delaware” goes the old racetrack adage, and it is as true today as when it was coined decades ago, as four of the five Graded Stakes on the 2014 Delaware Park stakes schedule will feature the ladies of thoroughbred racing.
The highlight of the stakes schedule is the $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap.
The mile-and-a-quarter filly and mare summer classic will be run for the seventy-seventh time on July 12.
Last year, the Del ‘Cap was run as a Grade I race for the first time since 1989. Besilu Stable’s Royal Delta won her second consecutive Del ‘Cap in record setting fashion by notching a 10 ¼-length victory.
“Ladies have always been first at Delaware Park, and they always will be,” said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney. “That is by design. Through the decades, we have enjoyed hosting some of the greatest fillies and mares of the sport. I congratulate the Royal Delta connections on another championship campaign, and I look forward to seeing the next exciting chapter of this proud filly and mare tradition.”
The Delaware Handicap produced the champion of the division for the third consecutive year, as Royal Delta was recently named the older female champion for the second straight year. In 2011, Havre de Grace finished second to her arch rival Blind Luck in the race during her Horse of the Year and older female championship.
The supporting feature on the Del ‘Cap card will be the six furlong $100,000 Sweet and Sassy Stakes for fillies and mares. The local Delaware Handicap prep, the mile-and-an-eighth $150,000 Grade III Obeah Stakes, will be run on June 14.
The mile-and-a-sixteenth $300,000 Grade II Delaware Oaks is scheduled for July 5. Since the race was inaugurated 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 Oaks card will be the Grade III Robert G. Dick Memorial. The mile-and-three-eighths turf race for fillies and mares has a purse of $200,000.
Other notable fillies and mares that have recently run at Delaware Park include Tiz Miz Sue and Joyful Victory, who were both finalist in the older female division for the 2013 Eclipse Awards; and Love and Pride, the winner of the Grade I Personal Ensign and Grade I Zenyatta in 2012.
The $150,000 Grade III Kent Stakes rounds out the $2.1 million stakes schedule. The mile-and-an-eighth turf test for 3-year-olds, will be run on September 20. Owners’ Day is scheduled for September 13.
The 77th season of live racing at the Stanton oval will feature 81 days with the meet starting on May 17 and concluding on October 22.
2014 DELAWARE PARK STAKES SCHEDULE
|June 14||Obeah Stakes (Gr. III)||FM3+||1M 1/8||$150,000|
|July 5||Delaware Oaks (Gr. II)||F3||1M 1/16||$300,000|
|July 5||Robert G. Dick Memorial (Gr. III)||FM3+||1M 3/8T||$200,000|
|July 12||Delaware Handicap (Gr. I)||FM3+||1M 1/4||$750,000|
|July 12||Sweet & Sassy Stakes||FM3+||6F||$100,000|
|Sept. 13||Tax Free Distaff (Del Bred/Cert)®||F&M3+||6F||$75,000|
|Sept. 13||New Castle (Del Bred/Cert)®||3+||6F||$75,000|
|Sept. 13||Small Wonder (Del Bred/Cert)®||F2||5F||$75,000|
|Sept. 13||First State Dash (Del Bred/Cert)®||2||5F||$75,000|
|Sept. 13||DTHA Governors Cup ®®||3+||1M 70yds||$75,000|
|Sept. 13||George Rosenberger Mem.®®||FM3+||1M 1/16T||$75,000|
|Sept. 20||Kent Stakes (Gr. III)||3||1M 1/8T||$150,000|
® – Restricted to Delaware-bred and/or Certified horses.
®® – Restricted to horses who made a start at Delaware Park in 2014 (stake races excluded).