Delaware Certified Program adds stakes incentives for 2017

Posted: Dec. 5, 2016

The Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program in 2017 will offer additional purses money in select stakes at Delaware Park in an attempt to encourage participation and increase field size.

The DCTP was created in 2002 to encourage maintenance and growth of green space in the state, which relies heavily on agriculture. The program, sponsored and administered by the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, awards a bonus of 50%—25% to a certifier and 25% for an owner—for registered horses that finish first, second or third in races at Delaware Park.

Bonuses are capped at $7,500 per horse per race. The one-time nomination fee is $50 for weanlings and $100 for yearlings; a certified horse must have been domiciled at a registered Delaware farm for at least 90 days prior to March 31 of its 2-year-old year.

Under a plan outlined at the October meeting of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, the 50% bonus will continue next year, said Vincent Moscarelli, who administrates and helped found the DCTP. Purses for two DCTP stakes for 3-year-olds and up will increase from $75,000 to $100,000, and $25,000 in supplements from the DCTP will be added to two open stakes for qualifying horses that place first, second or third; the bonus cap will increase to $10,000 from $7,500 for the open stakes.

The open stakes—the George Rosenberger Memorial and DTHA Governors’ Day—and four DCTP stakes are offered on Owners’ Day in September each year.

“We figured this would help increase entries in some of the stakes,” Moscarelli said.

“One other reason is to try to encourage people to enter the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program,” said John Mooney, Executive Director of Racing at Delaware Park.

Moscarelli said the changes were recommended by a DCTP advisory committee. The program this year paid about $700,000 in purses and bonuses, which will provide for a $300,000 surplus in 2017.

There are more than 80 Delaware farms eligible to participate in the DCTP, which is funded by $500,000 from the DTHA purse fund and matched by $250,000 from the state and $250,000 from Delaware Park.

The 2016 Delaware Park meet ended in October, and the barn area closes Dec. 31. Stabling for the 2017 meet will be available beginning March 1.

(Photo of Delaware Park by Tom LaMarra)