The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the stakes schedule for the 18-day fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack that will include 26 total stakes, including 10 graded contests, which will open on Thursday Nov. 11.
Offering total stakes purses of over $4 million, the fall meet will be highlighted by a four graded-stakes card on Saturday, December 4, headlined by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap for 3-year-olds and up.
The stacked Cigar Mile undercard will also include the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen for juveniles going 1 1/8 miles with 10-4-2-1 qualifying points to the 2022 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on the line. Its counterpart for 2-year-old fillies, the Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle, will offer 10-4-2-1 points towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Also on tap for the December 4 card is the Grade 3, $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up competing at one mile.
Following the $150,000 Artie Schiller and $150,000 Winter Memories on November 13-14, the Grade 2, $200,000 Red Smith highlights a strong weekend on November 20-21 at Aqueduct, which will include the $100,000 Key Cents and $100,000 Notebook on Sunday, November 21.
10 Stakes on Thanksgiving Weekend
Thanksgiving weekend will offer ten stakes over three days beginning Friday, November 26 with the Grade 3, $200,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles; the $150,000 Gio Ponti for sophomores at 1 1/16 miles on the turf; and the $150,000 Forever Together for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Four stakes will be contested on Saturday, November 21 including the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in a marathon 1 1/2 miles on the turf; the $150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship for 3-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs; the $150,000 Discovery for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the main track; and the $100,000 Central Park for juveniles at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Thanksgiving weekend racing at the Big A will close with three stakes on Sunday, November 28, including the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap for 3-years-olds and up at six furlongs; the $150,000 Autumn Days for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs on the turf; and the $100,000 Tepin for juvenile fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
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Fall Meet Ends on Dec. 5
The Big A fall meet will conclude on Sunday, December 5 with a pair of $150,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series races going seven furlongs on the main track, with the Thunder Rumble for 3-year-olds and up and the Staten Island for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up.
The Aqueduct winter meet will commence on Thursday, December 9, with seven stakes carded through the end of the calendar year. The first stakes of the winter meet will be the $100,000 Garland of Roses for fillies and mares 3-and-up at six furlongs on Saturday, December 11.
The following Saturday will again showcase a pair of NYSSS contests with half-million dollar purses for juveniles competing at seven furlongs, with the $500,000 Great White Way for males and the Fifth Avenue for fillies.
The next day, Sunday, December 19, will offer the $125,000 Queens County for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles and the $100,000 Gravesend for 3-years-old and up sprinting six furlongs in the final stakes action before a 10-day holiday break.
Live racing will resume Thursday, December 30 with the $100,000 Bay Ridge for New York-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles. New Year’s Eve will feature the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for state-bred 3-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles.
Winter Meet Kicks Off Dec. 9
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the stakes schedule for the 2021-22 winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
With 46 stakes races on offer worth nearly $6 million in purses, the 56-day winter meet begins Thursday, December 9 and runs through Sunday, March 27. Live racing will generally be conducted Thursday through Sunday through the end of February with a holiday break set for December 20 – 29 and the addition of a special Presidents’ Day card on Monday, February 21. March will then feature a Friday-Sunday schedule of live racing through the conclusion of the winter meet on March 27.
As previously announced, and in accordance with New York City requirements, fans seeking to enter Aqueduct Racetrack must demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Originally closed to the public during the height of the COVID-19 emergency in March of 2020, Aqueduct then became the site of a New York State mass vaccination center in January 2021. It will re-open to the public on Thursday, November 11, Opening Day of the 18-day 2021 Aqueduct fall meet, which runs through Sunday, December 5.
The Aqueduct winter meet stakes action commences on Saturday, December 11 with the $100,000 Garland of Roses for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up headed six furlongs on the main track. The 2021 NYRA stakes program draws to a close with the $100,000 Bay Ridge on December 30 for New York-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and up and the $100,000 Alex M. Robb on December 31 for New York-breds 3-years-old and up.
Jerome Kicks off Road to Derby in New York
January racing will open on New Year’s Day with the one-mile $150,000 Jerome, the first of three Kentucky Derby prep races at the Big A winter meet. The Jerome will offer 10-4-2-1 qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
The nine-furlong $100,000 Busanda for sophomore fillies on January 23 will provide 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top four finishers. The winter meet graded stakes calendar will open with the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses on January 29.
New York’s road to the Kentucky Derby continues at the Big A winter meet with the nine-furlong Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 5, offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers.
The Monday, February 21 Presidents’ Day card will be highlighted by the $100,000 Maddie May for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies going one mile. There will be no live racing on Thursday, February 17 to accommodate the Presidents’ Day card.
A total of 12 racing cards are set for March, featuring eight stakes’ days, including two graded events. The centerpiece of the March racing calendar is the one-mile Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham on March 5, which provides 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers. The Gotham Day card includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap for 4-year-olds and up going six furlongs; the $250,000 Busher Invitational for 3-year-old fillies offering 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers; and the $125,000 Stymie for 4-year-olds and up.
The final weekend of the winter meet will feature a 10-stakes card on New York Claiming Championship Day, Saturday, March 26 and the $100,000 East View on Sunday, March 27.
Admission to Aqueduct, which will be open to the public on live race days only, is free of charge. The gates will open daily at 11 a.m. First post during the Aqueduct fall and winter meets is 12:30 p.m.