The Vincent Delaney Memorial Committee is proud to again announce that a record number of horses have been nominated for the sixth annual VDM weekend of racing.
The richest stakes weekend in all of Ireland and the UK, the VDM has developed into a must attend week-long festival in Dublin, Ireland with the races being held Aug. 12-13.
"To say we were overwhelmed with the support from the horse owners," said race founder Derek Delaney, "would be an understatement for our festival of harness racing. While we are slightly down on numbers in the 2-year-old divisions, we made up for it on 3 year olds with our new joint sponsorship with Alabar Stud and Oakwood Stud."
The premier event of the weekend is the sixth annual Vincent Delaney Memorial for 2 year olds. Perhaps harness racing's most grueling race as it calls for 2 year olds to race in elimination divisions Saturday and then the final on Sunday.
A record number of pacing fillies entered the Diamond Creek Farm VDM with 38 nominated over 35 in 2016. The newly sponsored Hanover Shoe Farm VDM for colts saw a decline over prior year with 38 nominated for 2017 vs. 45 in 2016.
Rhyds Mystique, the BHRC filly of the year in 2016 and IB Coyote, winner of the Diamond Creek Farm VDM final last year, are both nominated.
Another record was set in nominations for the 3-year-old Alabar-Oakwood Stud Derby with a total of 45 colts and fillies entered. The colt division has 23 entered and the new filly division has 23 nominated.
Heading the list of colts for the Derby is Tyrion Hanover, the BHRC colt of the year last season and the winner of the VDM colt final.
In the 4 year old newly sponsored Yirribee Paul Murtagh, SR. Memorial, only seven entered the horse division, mainly because of the presences of the 2016 Harness Horse of the Year in Ireland and the UK, Miraculous, returning for another championship season. He is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest racehorses ever in Ireland and the UK.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of entries (only four) in the Yirribee Murtagh Mare Division, the race has been canceled.
"We will however," said Delaney, "try our very best to stage a 4 year old and older mare's race on the weekend.
"Overall we are really excited that our three major stakes events are up again in total horses," Delaney added. "This year we have 127 entered for the three stakes and last year was at 120. Anytime we can continue to increase total nominations it shows we are growing and that is always good." (Steve Wolf)