Delaware Racing Gets The Green Light

Published: May 18, 2020 06:31 pm EDT

Horse racing is slated to return to the First State in the coming weeks, as announced by the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association in an open letter to its membership.

In Phase 1 of Delaware's economic reopening, Governor John Carney approved the limited opening of the state's three racetracks — Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway — effective June 1.

The letter appears in its entirety below.

Delaware Harness Racing Community:

As most of you have probably heard, Governor Carney has approved the limited opening of Delaware's “racinos” effective June 1, 2020. Racing is scheduled to begin at Harrington Raceway on Monday, June 15, 2020. Prior to racing, there will be qualifying races and publication of a condition sheet and draw schedule. I am working with Harrington Raceway and the D.H.R.C. to waive the need to qualify for all horses who have raced since February 1, 2020; I will update everyone once this has been approved.

D.S.O.A. is also currently in negotiations with Harrington Raceway regarding several items such as: a purse schedule, a condition sheet, the number of races and a possible extension of the Spring race meet schedule. There is sill some uncertainty regarding the Delaware State Fair, which bas to be determined. I will post on D.S.O.A.’s webpage and Facebook page how these get resolved as soon as possible.

There will be many restrictions and safety protocols that will be required for Harrington Raceway to reopen. Horsemen will have to strictly comply with these for racing to continue; all of these will be posted soon once they are completed. Everyone will have to be patient, as it will take some time for racing to return to how it was before COVID-19 started. Eventually we will get back to normal but the process will take time.

Getting back to racing should do wonders for us all. Doing what we love to do is the best thing that could have happened; let's embrace it and move forward.

As of today, we have not raced for 63 days. In that time with the casinos also shut down, we have lost over $5,000.000.00 for purses. The tracks also lost about four to five times that amount, Money will be tight for all of us for a while, but it will improve with time. The financial difficulties you all have experienced is also equally devastating but together we can all work to get things back to the way it was soon.

Check the D.S.O.A. webpage and Facebook page for updates, which will be posted once available. Stay well and safe.

Sincerely yours,

Salvatore DiMario
D.S.O.A. Executive Director




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