Delaware Park Racing Season Begins and Sports Betting Likely in June
On a quiet day of racing nationally May 30, Delaware Park opened it’s 81st season of racing and produced a handle of more than $2 million. That figure compared quite favorably with last year’s lid-lifter, on a Saturday, which generated less than $820,000. The first Wednesday of last year’s meet, June 7, came in under $1.3 million. Wednesday’s track opener also overcame a power outage that struck the track between races three and four, the apparent result of an accident off the grounds. The power sputtered and died, the infield toteboard and big screen suddenly dark, the air conditioning units starkly quiet. Then it came back only, perhaps 30 seconds later, to die out again, this time for a good 15 to 20 minutes.
Eventually the track came back to life, the fourth race sent off at 3:12 — 54 minutes after the third.
A well-bred first-time starter named Frippery won the day’s featured race for trainer Arnaud Delacour. Flippery paid $9.00 to win in the $34,000 maiden special weight race on the turf. Bettors couldn’t quite decide among four runners, but Flippery broke alertly and pressed the sluggish pace setter Silla Manila, made his move around the far turn in what became a two-horse race in the stretch, and pulled away late to win late by one length in a final 7 1/2 furlong time of 1:32.59 over turf rated firm.
The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow legalized sports betting has essentially cleared the way many states and race tracks to offer sports betting. While a number of states have little or no experience in the area, Delaware Park has been offering betting on National Football League games through parlay cards for several years as one of four states exempted in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
Casino staff along with mutual clerks at Delaware Park have been training for sports betting, and “we expect to be ready to offer sports betting early in June,” Bill Fasy, president of Delaware Park, said earlier this week.
There will be 81 days of racing at Delaware Park, highlighed by the $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 14. The sensational Songbird won last year’s DelCap. The first live racing Saturday (June 2nd) will be highlighted by Family Fun Day, sponsored by the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen Association (DTHA) and Delaware Park, and a Delaware Park cap giveaway.
Other upcoming events scheduled for the live racing season at Delaware Park:
- Delaware Park’s premier races, the Delaware Oaks (Gr. III) and the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (Gr. II), will be held on July 7th and July 14th, respectively.
- The 26th annual DTHA Owners Day will be held on September 29th.
- Handicapping contests are slated for July 4th, September 1st and November 24th.
Live racing will be conducted Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The final week of the meet live racing will only be conducted on Wednesday, October 17th and Saturday, October 20th. The daily first race post time is set for 1:15 p.m. As always, general parking and admission are free.