Delaware Park unveils stakes schedule

by | Feb 1, 2017 | Breaking, DE Racing, Delaware, Racing

I’m a Chatterbox won the 2016 Delaware Handicap. Photo by The Racing Biz.

From a Delaware Park release

The $750,000 Grade I Delaware Handicap highlights the 2017 stakes schedule at Delaware Park this season.

The mile-and-a-quarter filly and mare summer classic will be run for the 80th time on July 15th.

Last year, the Del ‘Cap was run as a Grade I race for the fourth time since 1989. Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s locally-based I’m a Chatterbox posted a 2 ¼-length victory over Paid Up Subscriber. After winning the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland, the Kentucky-bred conditioned by Delaware Park-based trainer J. Larry Jones completed her season with a fifth-place finish in the Grade I Breeder’s Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on November 4th.

“It is always exciting when hometown connections win the premier race of the meet, but it is especially exciting when it is done by a world-class filly,” said Executive Director of Racing John Mooney. “I want to congratulate team I’m a Chatterbox. We are very much looking forward to her 2017 season. The Delaware Handicap has always been an important date on the filly and mare national stake schedule and I am sure the upcoming 80th renewal of this historic classic will continue the proud tradition.”

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 $50,000 Carl Hanford Memorial Overnight Stake, for 3-year-olds and upward at a mile-and-a-sixteenth, and the $50,000 Hockessin Overnight Stakes, 3-year-olds and upward at six furlongs, will also be scheduled as part of the card.

The local Delaware Handicap prep, the mile-and-an-eighth $100,000 Obeah Stakes, will be run on June 10th. Last year, I’m a Chatterbox won the race named after the two-time Delaware Handicap winner (1969 & 1970) and the dam of Go for Wand who was locally-owned by Harry and Jane Lunger’s Christiana Stables.

Another meet highlight, the mile-and-a-sixteenth, $300,000 Grade 3 Delaware Oaks is scheduled for July 8th. 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. The $50,000 Cape Henlopen Overnight Stake, for 3-year-olds and upward at a mile-and-a-half on the grass, and the $50,000 Dashing Beauty Overnight Stakes, for fillies and mares at six furlongs, will also be scheduled as part of the card.

The $2,050,000 million stakes schedule will culminate with Owners’ Day on September 30th. The 25th annual Owners’ Day card will feature six restricted stake races worth $500,000 combined. For the first time, both the $75,000 Delaware Thoroughbred Governors Day Handicap and the $75,000 George Rosenberger Memorial will offer a bonus of up to $50,000 for Delaware Certified participants.

The 80th season of live racing at the Stanton-oval will feature 81 days with the meet starting on June 3rd and concluding on October 21st. Live racing will be conducted Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the first race post time at 1:15 p.m.



June 10Obeah Stakes (Listed)FM3+1M 1/8$100,000
July 8Delaware Oaks (Gr. III)F31M 1/16$300,000
July 8Robert G. Dick Memorial (Gr. III)FM3+1M 3/8T$200,000
July 15Delaware Handicap (Gr. I)FM3+1M 1/4$750,000
July 15Kent Stakes (Gr. III)31M 1/8T$200,000
Sept. 30Tax Free Distaff (Del Bred/Cert)®F&M3+6F$100,000
Sept. 30New Castle (Del Bred/Cert)®3+6F$100,000
Sept. 30Small Wonder (Del Bred/Cert)®F25F$75,000
Sept. 30First State Dash (Del Bred/Cert)®25F$75,000
Sept. 30DTHA Governors Cup ®®3+1M 70yds$75,000
Sept. 30George Rosenberger Mem.®®FM3+1M 1/16T$75,000