Delaware Park announces 2023 schedule featuring 85 days of live racing
Delaware Park announces its schedule for the 86th season of live racing.
The season gets underway on Wednesday May 24th, and it will conclude on Saturday, October 28th with the live racing schedule generally conducted on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
There are some Friday’s with no racing at the end of July and in August, and the first and last Friday of the season.
Delaware Park Director of Racing Jed Doro says the schedule is the same as last year, but it’s changed from the track’s traditional schedule.
"It follows what we did last year. Prior to that we had been a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule, and Saturday, and we tried Friday's last year. We felt it worked. So we're trying to just grow that," said Doro.
The crown jewel of the schedule is the $500,000 Delaware Handicap Saturday, July 8th which highlights the stake schedule worth $2.25 million.
The race this year will be different from those in the past as it will be contested at a mile and three sixteenths instead of the traditional mile and a quarter.
Doro says the hope is that change will help attract top contenders.
"We're hoping the distance - the 16th of a mile difference - will make a difference in the attraction,” said Doro. “We can't guarantee it, but we're certainly hoping that it at least gives the race a shot to draw a mare or two that have been just reluctant to go a mile and a quarter."
In all, Delaware Park will offer 85 days of racing in 2023
Other highlights of the season include the Delaware Oaks on July 1st, which also features the Robert G. Dick Memorial, and Alapocas Stakes -- as well as the Owners Day Showcase on September 9th.
There’s also the $100,000 Small Wonder and $100,000 First State restricted to Delaware-bred or certified 2-year-olds on September 27th.
The $100,000 Tax Free Shopping Distaff, and $100,000 New Castle which is restricted to Delaware-bred or certified older horses is on September 28th.