Despite being the second-smallest state in the United States, OTB Delaware packs plenty of action. It is surrounded by some of the most prolific horse racing states like Maryland to the west, New Jersey and New York to the north, and Pennsylvania to the northwest. But within the state, there is enough OTB’s and tracks to go around.
Let’s go over the OTB Delaware topics to know about Delaware:
Known as one of the country’s more progressive states in terms of sports gambling, off-track betting has been legal in Delaware for a while now. There are already a handful of OTB’s around the state: three in fact. These places are located within the tracks of Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway.
Further, Delaware has legalized sports betting, including single-game wagers and futures bets, in 2018. The advent of sports betting here has led to a sharp increase in wagering online. Thankfully, there are plenty of online sportsbooks that welcome Delaware players.
Plenty of these sportsbooks do not operate in Delaware or even in the country. These offshore books, although technically operating outside the legal requirements of the state, cannot be eliminated. So many state-subsidized outlets do their best to bash these sportsbooks to little or no success.
These online sportsbooks are not only more convenient, but can offer better off-track betting odds. They even include horse races from outside Delaware and the United States.
You can use these books confidently knowing that the government will not come after you or confiscate your winnings. With all this said, OTB Delaware is perfectly fine and betting on ponies while watching live is an exhilarating experience as well.
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The off-track betting schedule in Delaware runs for most of the year. The Dover Downs racetrack operates harness racing from November to mid-April. Their Race & Sports Book offers sports betting including off-track betting.
Right after the Dover Downs schedule is the Harrington Raceway. It runs 70 days of live racing from spring (March) to fall (October).
But perhaps the horse racing events you’ll most want to keep track off happen in the summer, in mid-July, in the Delaware Park Racetrack.
The Del Cap Festival Weekend showcases the Delaware Handicap, the state’s premier thoroughbred horse race. The 1 ¼-,mile (10 furlongs) racetrack has a $750,000 purse, making it one of the biggest grade-II races.
The Festival also features the Delaware Oaks with a $300,000 purse. Combined, the Festival has a purse totaling over $1 million making it the most lucrative horse racing event in the state.
Other thoroughbred horse races to keep track of are the Kent Stakes in June and the Robert G. Dicks Memorial Stakes in July. Both horse races are grade-III and have purses of $200,000 each.
Delaware is one of the first states to popular off-track betting and sports betting in general. Despite only having one thoroughbred horse racing track, there is plenty of Delaware OTB action happening here.
The Delaware Park Racetrack is the state’s most prestigious horse racing track. It features the Del Cap Festival Weekend every mid-July. This showcases the Delaware Handicap and the Delaware Oaks, esteemed grade-II and grade-III stakes races, respectively.
Delaware Park also hosts the Kent
Stakes and the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes, both grade-III stakes races.
There are also a pair of harness racing tracks, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway in the state. Dover Downs is a racing complex that features not just harness racing but also auto racing, NASCAR, and a casino. Harrington Raceway is a racino located inside the Delaware State Fair.
Although Delaware is a small state, it is a significant member in the East Coast scene of horse racing. Many significant horses “summer” at Delaware Park and several of the state-bred horses go on to win in other states such as New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Delaware Park Racetrack or “DelPark” for short is the state’s only thoroughbred horse racing track. It is known as being a “training ground” for many contenders such as near-Triple Crown winner Barbaro and others who hope to win in major circuits in Kentucky, Florida, and New York.
DelPark features the Del Cap Festival Weekend, which features top-tier grade-II stakes race Delaware Handicap and grade-III stakes race Delaware Oaks. It also sports a casino and a golf course.
Located in Stanton, Delaware, the park was opened in 1937 and was designed by William DuPont Jr. who also designed 23 other racing courses and is thoroughbred horse racing royalty.
Delaware’s horse race purses have increased in recent years thanks to the increasing casino revenues. The Delaware Handicap is one of the richest grade-II races with a purse of $750,000.
Legends such as Royal Delta, two-time American Champion Older Female Horse and Obeah, whom the Obeah Stakes is named after, have won at the Handicap. Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. has also set a record in the Handicap with the most wins at four.
The Delaware Oaks once featured a purse of $500,000, one of the largest for a grade-III race. It’s currently at $300,000. Several Hall of Fame fillies like Gallorette (1945), Gallant Bloom (1969), and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Lauries Dancer have won here.
The Dover Downs is a hotel, casino, and racetrack all rolled into one. It is located in Dover, Delaware and features a 0.625-mile (five furlongs) harness horse racing track inside the Dover International Speedway.
The racetrack opened in 1969 and features harness racing from November to mid-April. Simulcasts of harness and thoroughbred horse racing happen all-year round. The track also features off-track betting along with a sportsbook.
In March 1969, the thoroughbreds kicked off the first race in front of 8,641 fans. Pinehurst and Fred Kratz won in what would be the high point for thoroughbreds as in November of that year, the pacers and trotters took over.
By the 1990’s however, harness racing became a side thing for the sports complex. It became all about NASCAR, the casino, and the sports betting. This is still a place to enjoy OTB Delware.
Dover Downs still holds harness racing, but it is secondary to the auto racing. Still, those looking for all the horse racing they can consume will stop by this place to take it all in. Sports fans and recreational bettors may enjoy it entirely as they get a multi-faceted experience with everything going on here.
The Harrington Raceway is a multipurpose complex complete with a harness racing track and a casino – a racino. It is located within the fairgrounds of the Delaware State Fair just south of Harrington. The casino is one of the biggest in the state featuring over 1,800 slot machines, table games, simulcasting, and sports betting.
The experience Harrington Raceway offers for recreational fans and general sports bettors is unparalleled in the state. Only Dover Downs comes close as it even features a NASCAR circuit.
For the harness racing, Harrington Raceway runs 70 days of live racing per year, split between the spring and fall meets. The track is a half-mile oval. Races usually occur from Monday to Wednesday in the evening. The programs are aimed at Delaware-bred horses and features lucrative purses.
The track was first built in 1920 for the first Kent and Sussex County Fair. However, it was only after pari-mutuel wagering became legal in 1945 when the directors of the fair made the Kent and Sussex County Racing Associating conduct an annual meet.
In 1996, the casino was opened and in 2003, the track was renovated and widened. It allowed the track to smoothen its turns and make it safer and more attractive to horse racers.
Delaware Park Racetrack & Casino
777 Delaware Park Boulevard
Wilmington, DE 19804
Phone: (800) 417-5687
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
1131 North DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 674-4600
Harrington Raceway & Casino
15 West Rider Road
Harrington, DE 19952
Phone: (302) 398-7223