The New York Racing Association officially announced Wednesday that part of the 37-day Belmont fall meet would be held at Aqueduct Racetrack due to the construction of a new arena at Belmont Park that will host the NHL's New York Islanders. The meet will start at Belmont Park Sept. 6 and remain there until Oct. 6, at which point racing will shift to Aqueduct–dubbed Belmont at the Big A–from Oct. 11 through Oct. 27. Racing at both venues will be conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule. Post times will be announced in the near future and could include adjustments to better accommodate construction.
“The redevelopment project at Belmont Park will have a long-lasting and multifaceted positive impact on the surrounding community. In light of the construction, it is important to adjust our calendar to ensure NYRA's fall racing program will run safely and efficiently for all participants,” said NYRA CEO and President David O'Rourke. “We appreciate the patience of our horsemen, fans and the community and look forward to another outstanding fall season of racing in New York.”
The 37-day Belmont fall meet will feature 45 stakes worth $11.525 million in purses–a $1.45-million increase from 2018. Highlights of the meet include the inaugural $1-million Jockey Club Derby and $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks Sept. 7; the Jockey Club Gold Cup Racing Festival card Sept. 28, which includes a pair of Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” events including the $750,000 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup; the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Racing Festival a week later Oct. 5 and 6, featuring five more Breeders' Cup qualifiers highlighted by the $500,000 GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. New York-breds will be in the spotlight on Saturday, Oct. 19 with Empire State Breeders' Showcase Day featuring eight restricted stakes worth $1.75 million.