Delaware Park

Delaware Park is a thoroughbred racing facility in Wilmington, Delaware with two tracks. Its meet normally starts in late April and, save for a few dark days, continues through November.

Delaware Park is one of the most important race tracks in the Delaware Valley area and as a testament, is host to many significant stakes events including the Delaware Handicap, the Delaware Oaks, the Light Hearted Handicap and the Endine Handicap.

Delaware Park Track Facts

 

Track Data

  • One mile oval with six furlong and 1 1/4 mile chutes. Length of stretch from last turn to finish line is 995 feet. Main track is 100 feet wide with Fontana Safety Rail.
  • Turf Course is seven furlongs inside the main track

Paddock & Walking Ring

  • The signature track feature is a cedar wood paddock and large walking ring in a hedged park. It can be viewed through the grove area and terraces off each clubhouse level.

Track Records

Main Track

DISTANCE HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME
2 Furlongs Glitter River 6 125 Sep. 5, 2000 :21.60
4 1/2 Furlongs Erlton 2 115 May 5, 1998 :51.80
5 Furlongs Milky Way Gal 5 116 Jul. 29, 1989 :56.20
5 1/2 Furlongs Dontcloseyoureyes 4 122 Oct. 14, 1990 1:03
6 Furlongs Damitrius 5 115 Sep. 2, 1980 1:08.20
1 Mile Ashlar 4 117 Jun. 25, 1960 1:35.20
1 Mile 70 yds Distinct Vision 3 115 Aug. 25, 2003 1:39.20
1 1/16 Miles Lies of Omission 6 122 July 4, 1998 1:41.20
1 1/8 Miles Victoria Park 3 122 Jun. 18, 1960 1:47.40
1 3/16 Miles Gold Star Deputy 5 114 Oct. 31, 1999 1:56.72
1 1/4 Miles Coup de Fusil 4 114 Jul. 25, 1987 1:59.80
1 1/2 Miles Bam 5 115 Jun. 26, 1948 2:31
1 5/8 Miles Flying Restina Run 5 121 Sep. 4, 2000 2:45.40
1 3/4 Miles Cer Vantes 6 118 Jun. 27, 1951 2:56.40
2 Miles Dixies Act 5 118 Aug. 10, 1975 3:29.40
2 Miles 70 yds Wolfe Tone 6 114 Nov. 7, 1993 3:34
2 1/4 Miles Sanguine Sword 8 114 Jul. 2, 1986 3:58.60

Turf

DISTANCE HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME
5 Furlongs Mujado 4 116 Jul. 27, 2002 :56.16
1 Mile Hanover Hollywood 5 118 Aug. 3, 2002 1:34.74
1 1/16 Miles Charablanc 5 108 Jul. 20, 1963 1:40.20
1 1/8 Miles Foufa's Warrior 3 115 Jul. 20, 2003 1:47:44
1 3/8 Miles Cool Prince 5 114 Jul. 3, 1965 2:12.40
1 1/2 Miles Revved Up 5 116 Jul. 20, 2003 2:26:46
1 7/8 Miles El Moro 8 116 Jul. 22, 1963 3:11.80
2 Miles Verdance 4 113 Sep. 21, 1986 3:24.40
2 3/8 Miles Lively London 5 113 Jul. 25, 1986 4:09
2 7/8 Miles Call Louis 4 107 Aug. 24, 1986 5:08.20

Steeplechase

DISTANCE HORSE AGE WGT DATE TIME
2 Miles Devil's Path 4 116 Jul. 27, 2002 :56.16
2 1/4 Miles Fabulous Time 5 118 Aug. 3, 2002 1:34.74
Abt. 2 Miles Balenchin 5 108 Jul. 20, 1963 1:40.20
Abt. 2 1/4 Miles Thrice Worthy 3 115 Jul. 20, 2003 1:47:44

History of Delaware Park

  • In 1933, legislation was passed to create the Delaware Racing Commission. The state decided to move forward with the legalization of racing as the Great Depression took its toll on the state's finances. Conservatives had traditionally fought the establishment of horse racing in the state.
  • In 1935, the Delaware Racing Commission was given the power to grant licenses for the selling of pools by pari-mutuel machines and to receive wagers within the limits of the law.
  • In 1936, a group of businessmen that included William DuPont, Jr. met with the Commission to lay the groundwork for the promotion of the breeding of thoroughbred horses and the establishment of a race track. The businessmen purchased a large tract of land in Stanton and began to build a racing facility.
  • On June 26, 1937, Delaware Park opened its doors to the general public. The original facilities consisted of an open-air, 7,500 seat grandstand with a tiered Clubhouse/Turf Club on the upper level. The track itself was a one-mile dirt oval with a pair of steeplechase turf courses. The backstretch contained stables for 1,226 horses.
  • Horse racing flourished in Delaware Park throughout the next several years, though it was forced to close briefly in 1943 during World War II. In 1944, the track reopened.
  • In 1958, a $2.8 million expansion was undertaken. Included in the expansion was the building of a new clubhouse and the enlargement of the grandstand.
  • In the 1960s, Delaware Park became a haven for summer racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region. Visitors came from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.
  • In the 1970's the expansion of racing dates at Garden State Park, Atlantic City Racecourse and at the other New York and Maryland tracks reduced Delaware Park's pull. In addition, each state formed its own racing circuit and as a result, many fans from adjoining states no longer went to Delaware Park.
  • In September 1982, Delaware Park closed its doors due to financial difficulties.
  • In the spring of 1984, the track reopened under a new owner.
  • A 1985 season was held and brought moderate success to Delaware Park with a $522,134 daily average handle. That year over $1 million was wagered by simulcast on Kentucky Derby day from Delaware Park.
  • Over the next several years, Delaware Park was quite successful in meeting an onslaught of competition from neighboring states.
  • On December 29, 1995, Delaware Park opened a slots facility which further expanded the Park's onsite attractions.

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