Delaware Public Media

Delaware Park sets new date for 2020 racing season

May 21, 2020

It will be another three weeks before live horse racing at Delaware Park gets out the gates.  Officials pushed back the season’s Opening Day to June 17th reducing the season by 20 days this year.

Delaware Park President John Mooney said plans were submitted to have races with or without fans.  He said that will depend in part on how it fares welcoming people back to its casino June 1st.

“We prefer to have fans and we feel if we are able to open Phase I and have people in the casino.  That should be adaptable to allowing patrons to come in for racing,” Mooney said. 

Mooney says ogistics also played a factor in the new schedule. He believes Delaware’s fourteen-day quarantine requirement for out-of-staters kept many horsemen and horses away.  They are expected to arrive over the next few weeks. 

Safety protocols are also being put in place. 

Officials are using a wristband system to protect horsemen, trainers, jockeys and staff working on site

“There’s a different wristband everyday of the week.  They’re color-coated and dated,” Mooney said.  “Every 24 hours, everyone working in the premises or the facility has to have their temperature taken.”

Staff working with horses in the paddock and stables will also be required to wear face masks and gloves.   They will also be processes set up to wash equipment and jockeys silks.  

Delaware Park’s 2020 season will start with live racing three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  Thursday races will be added on July 16th.  The track’s marquee races, the Delaware Handicap and Delaware Oaks remain on the calendar.  The Delaware Handicap is July 11th and the Delaware Oaks July 4th.

The season ends October 17th.