The New York Racing Association (NYRA) released its 2021 racing calendar. A total of 202 days of live racing are scheduled to be held at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Aqueduct's winter meet will continue through Sunday, Mar. 28 and be followed by an 11-day spring meet starting Apr. 1 and concluding Apr. 18 (click for winter and spring Aqueduct stakes schedule).
Racing then shifts to Belmont for a 48-day spring/summer meet starting Apr. 22 and ending July 11, highlighted by the 153rd running of the GI Belmont S. Race weeks at Belmont will typically be Thursday through Sunday.
The prestigious 40-day Saratoga meet will begin Thursday, July 15 and conclude on its typical closing day, Labor Day, Sept. 6. After opening weekend and aside from a six-day closing week, racing will be conducted five days a week at the Spa. The GI Whitney S. is slated for Aug. 7 and the GI Travers S. will be held Aug. 28.
Racing then shifts back downstate to Belmont for its 28-day fall meet, to be held from Sept. 16 to Oct. 31. Aqueduct's fall meet stretches from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5, and its winter meet begins Dec. 9 and carries through the end of the year.
NYRA is currently racing without spectators and only a limited number of licensed owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It hosted 157 days of live racing in 2020 following a shutdown period during the first wave of covid cases in the New York area–there were 217 race days in 2019 and 219 in 2018.