Delaware Certified purses, bonuses to increase in 2018

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Nov. 20, 2017

There will be additional opportunities to make money through the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program in 2018, including another increase in restricted stakes purses.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Delaware Park each year set aside a total of $1 million for the DCTP, which primarily provides bonuses for owners and certifiers of horses that have spent at least 90 days at a Delaware farm before Dec. 31 of their yearling year. The program, which also includes the handful of Thoroughbreds bred in the state, was created in 2002.

The upgrades to the program were discussed and approved Nov. 14 during a meeting that included appointees from the DTHA, Delaware Park and the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture and Finance.

The purses for the First State Dash for 2-year-olds and the Small Wonder Stakes for 2-year-old fillies will increase to $100,000 from $75,000 in 2018. This year, purses for the New Castle Stakes for 3-year-olds and up and the Tax Free Shopping Distaff for fillies and mares jumped to $100,000 from $75,000.

No bonus money is paid to owners in DCTP-restricted stakes, but certifiers are eligible for a 25% bonus.

Purse bonuses for all overnight races will remain at 50% (25% for the owner and 25% for the certifier) but will be paid through fifth-place rather than third-place next year.

In another change, DCTP bonuses will be paid through fifth-place in all open stakes at Delaware Park next year with a cap of $10,000 per horse.

The purses for two $75,000 stakes restricted to horses that have started at Delaware Park—the DTHA Governor’s Day Handicap for 3-year-olds and up and the George Rosenberger Memorial for fillies and mares—this year were $75,000 with up to $50,000 in bonuses for DCTP-eligible horses. That will be the case again in 2018

As of Nov. 20, about 225 horses have been registered this year for the DCTP. DTHA Executive Director Bessie Gruwell said horsemen have until Dec. 31 to ship yearlings to approved Delaware farms for the 90-day period necessary for them to be eligible for bonuses in 2018.

Language regarding the additional earning opportunities for DCTP-eligible runners will be published in the track condition book. Delaware Park on Nov. 15 was approved by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission for 81 racing days next year; the actual schedule will be approved in January.

More information on the DCTP is available here.

(Delaware Park photo by Tom LaMarra)