RACINE COUNTY — Grab your newest horse-racing hat and saddle up, because Racine County has approved a horse-racing event to take place in the Town of Dover. The Dover Derby will include more than 10 different horse races, from trots and sprints to relays and walks.

The event, approved by the Racine County Economic Development and Land Use Planning Committee Monday evening, will take place at Dover Stables, 27435 Washington Ave. in Waterford. It will also be managed by Dover Stables and will run from noon to 4 p.m. on May 5. A live-streaming of the Kentucky Derby will follow immediately after the race.

“It’s a unique idea,” said David Cooke, committee chairman. “Bringing people into Racine County is always a good thing.”

The first Dover Derby took place laslt October. The idea for a race began after a few Racine horse owners had the urge to find out who had the fastest horse. About 45 people were present at the first event, but organizers are hoping for about 100 people this May.

“People want a reason to dress up pretty,” said Dennis Spankowski, part-owner of Dover Stables. “With Foxconn coming in, this is an event showing what the county has to offer.”

Sharon Smolensky, part-owner and manager of the stables, said there are about 80 horses in the stables currently. The stables were built in 2013 with a half-mile outdoor race track. She is hopeful the event will attract people from outside of the state.

“It’s something that begs to be done,” said Smolensky. “People like speed, and they like to watch horses.”

Smolensky has always had a passion for horses, so she is excited to bring an event like this to Racine County.

“I’ve been around horses my whole life,” she said. “Being one of 10 kids, my dad bought us some horses to keep us entertained. Us being kids, we would race every day.”

The committee approved the race for this year. If there are no complaints, Dover Stables will still have to apply for a permit next year for the event but will not have to appear before the committee.

The admission fee to watch the race is $10 for an adult and $25 for a family. People can register before May 1 to participate in one of the races for $10 by calling Dover Stables at 262-492-8116.

“It’s a unique idea. Bringing people into Racine County is always a good thing.” David Cooke, committee chairman


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