A trio of GI Kentucky Derby preps highlight the Aqueduct 2023 winter meet stakes schedule, which was released by NYRA Wednesday. The 44-day winter meet, which begins Jan. 1 and runs through Mar. 26, will offer a total of 25 stakes races worth $3.2 million. Live racing will be conducted Thursday to Sunday until Feb. 12 and will move to a Friday to Sunday schedule from Feb. 17 through the end of the meet.
Stakes action kicks off on opening day with the first Derby prep, the $150,000 Jerome S., which offers 10 qualifying points to the winner. The next Derby qualifier will be the 20-point, $250,000 GIII Withers S. Feb. 4 and the third is the $300,000 GIII Gotham S., worth 50 points, to be held Mar. 4.
The winter meet also includes two prep races for the GI Kentucky Oaks, starting with the $100,000 Busanda S., a 20-point qualifying race. The other is the $200,000 Busher S. Mar. 4, worth 50 qualifying points.
The first graded race will be the $150,000 GIII Toboggan S. Jan. 28 and the final graded event takes place on Gotham day, the GIII Tom Fool H.
Aqueduct will host a special President's Day card Monday, Feb. 20, which will be highlighted by the $100,000 Haynesfield S. for older New York-bred males.
The final weekend of the winter meet will feature the $100,000 East View S. for New York-bred sophomore fillies Mar. 24, followed by New York Claiming Championship Day Saturday, Mar. 25 with six starter events offering a combined $380,000 in purse money.
Click here for the full winter meet stakes schedule.