Delaware Horseracing

Delaware Horseracing is regulated and overseen by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, under the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Horse racing in Delaware started during the colonial period when the first racing facility was built in the Town of Newark in 1760. Although betting was illegal, private wagering was common.

Today, Delaware has three horseracing tracks namely Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway and Dover Downs.

Delaware Park opened on June 26, 1937 and was designed by William duPont, Jr., who had previously designed twenty-three race courses throughout the United States.

Delaware Park has a one-mile dirt oval overlooked by a grandstand seating 7,500. An innovative tiered clubhouse and turf club occupied the uppermost level. Stables at the backstretch were equipped to house up to 1,226 horses.

Dover Downs is a unique dual purpose racing venue designed to accommodate both horse and auto racing. The race track opened in 1969 and the first speedway event was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race won by Richard Petty.

In 1971, Dover Downs announced the cancellation of all other events and would feature only two 500 mile NASCAR Winston Cup Series Races annually. The schedule prevailed with few exceptions until 1977 when other racing events were again introduced.

In 1995, Dover Downs became the first NASCAR super speedway to pave the raceway with concrete to make the races faster, cleaner and more competitive.

Harrington Raceway is America's oldest continuously operating harness racing facility and has featured harness racing for over 58 years.

In 1996 Harrington, along with Delaware's two other racing venues, installed its first video lottery machines, a benefit of the newly-passed regulations by the Delaware Legislature.

Delaware Horseracing Tracks

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Horseracing Tracks