Edited press release
The 2021 Aqueduct winter meet, which ran from December 10, 2020 through March 28, 2021, generated all-sources handle of $349,962,356 a 4.3 percent increase over the 2018-19 winter meet, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced Tuesday.
Originally scheduled for 56 days of live racing, adverse weather conditions forced the cancellation of four cards during the 2021 winter meet. NYRA subsequently added two live race days to account for the cancellations, resulting in a 54-day meet.
Average daily handle over the 54 days of live racing was $6,480,784, a 15.9 percent increase over 2018-19, when the meet was contested over 60 days of live racing.
In accordance with New York State guidelines instituted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the 2020-21 winter meet was conducted without spectators and with only a limited number of owners and essential employees in attendance.
On-track handle, which includes wagering from New York residents utilizing NYRA Bets, was $24,891,692.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the 2019-20 Aqueduct winter meet, forcing the cancellation of live racing from March 20-29. In addition, the 2020 Aqueduct spring meet was cancelled in its entirety due to the pandemic. Live racing on the NYRA circuit resumed at Belmont Park on June 3, 2020.
In January, the first floor of Aqueduct became a New York State vaccination center, where more than 100,000 doses have been distributed to New Yorkers to date.
The 11-day Aqueduct spring meet begins on Thursday, April 1, and continues through Sunday, April 18. The spring meet is highlighted by the 96th running of the GII $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on Saturday, April 3.
The Wood Memorial will air on NBSCN as part of a live national broadcast beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET and scheduled to include the GII $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass from Keeneland and the GI $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park.
Prior to the NBCSN broadcast, national television coverage of the Wood Memorial Day card from Aqueduct can be found on FS2 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.