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Dover Downs Harness Racing

Dover Downs is a harness racing track located within the city limits of Dover, Delaware, on the east side of Route 13 (Du Pont Highway). The harness racing events are actually held on the infield of the Dover International Speedway, a one-mile concrete, banked oval track that NASCAR fans have nicknamed "The Monster Mile".

Dover Downs has hosted harness racing events since its inception in 1969. Live harness races are simulcast to tracks and other off-track betting (OTB) locations across North America on each of the company's more than 140 live race dates. The track is adjacent to its company's casino and hotel and conference center.

A typical harness racing season at Dover Downs begins in November and ends in April. Post times are usually 4:30 or 5:30 p.m.

The Progress Pace is Dover Downs' signature event. It began in 1996 and during its first seven races, most of the top sophomore pacers in the sport have participated. Aside from the Progress Pace, other stakes events regularly held at Dover Downs include the Matron Series, the Classic Series and the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF).

Dover Downs Track Facts

• Track Opened : November 10, 1969
• Speed Rating : 1:594
• Length of Homestretch : 500'
• Width of Homestretch : 60'
• Starters Behind the Gate : 8
• Hubrail? : No
• "Open" Stretch? : Yes
• Lighted at night? : Yes
• General Admission : Free
• Clubhouse Admission : Free
• General Parking : Free
• Grandstand Capacity : 4,200
• Clubhouse Capacity : 400
• Parking Capacity : 12,000

Dover Downs Record Business

• Handle : $1,227,207 - January 30, 2001
• Attendance : 5,971 - February 4, 1973

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History of Dover Downs


  • Dover Downs race track opened on November 10.


  • Slots were introduced at Dover Downs.


  • The auto racing segment of the business was spun off and became Dover Motorsports, Inc. The "Dover Downs" name, however, was retained by the harness racing company. Together, the harness track, the hotel and the casino gaming business formed the core of Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, Inc.

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