Champ leaves the paddock.  Photo by Vas.

Royal Delta leaves the paddock before the 2013 Delaware Handicap. Photo by Vas.

From a Delaware Park release

The $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap highlights the 2015 stakes schedule at Delaware Park this season.

The mile-and-a-quarter filly and mare summer classic will be run for the seventy-eighth time on July 18th.

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 Galantey upset the heavy favorite, Princess of Sylmar, with a 2 ¾-length victory.

“The Delaware Handicap has always been an important date on the national filly and mare stake schedule and last year was no exception,” said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney. “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 Grade III Kent Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile-and-an-eighth on the grass. The local Delaware Handicap prep race, the mile-and-an-eighth $100,000 Grade III Obeah Stakes, will run on June 20th.

The mile-and-a-sixteenth $300,000 Grade III Delaware Oaks is scheduled for July 11th. 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 Oaks card will be the Grade III Robert G. Dick Memorial. The mile-and-three-eighths turf race for fillies and mares has a guaranteed purse of $200,000.

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

The 78th season of live racing at the Stanton oval will feature 81 days with the meet starting on May 16th and concluding on October 17th. In May, live racing will be held three days per week on a Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday schedule. Live racing will be added on Tuesdays from June 1st through September 1st. Beginning on September 8th, Tuesdays will be dropped from the schedule and live racing will revert back to a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday schedule through closing day October 17th. First post time is set for 1:15 p.m. daily.