The New York Racing Association announced Thursday the schedules for the 2020-21 winter and spring meets at Aqueduct Racetrack. In addition, NYRA announced that the purse increases now in effect across a number of categories at the Belmont Park fall meet will be extended to the fall, winter and spring meets at Aqueduct.
Purses for open claiming and maiden claiming races at NYRA are the highest in the country. The open $25,000 claiming category will see a $4,000 increase to $50,000, while the $40,000 maiden-claiming condition will now offer a purse of $43,000.
“NYRA is pleased to be able extend these significant purse increases to our upcoming Aqueduct meets as part of NYRA's commitment to year-round racing,” said Martin Panza, NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. “Aqueduct plays a vital role within the overall ecosystem of New York racing, and we look forward to our return to the Big A.”
The 2020-21 Aqueduct meet will feature 42 stakes races worth $4.57 million in purses. It begins Thursday, Dec. 10 and runs through Sunday, Mar. 28. Live racing will generally be conducted Thursday through Sunday until the end of February with a holiday break set for Dec. 24-27 and the addition of special Monday cards Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Feb. 15 for Presidents' Day. Live racing in March will be offered Friday through Sunday through the conclusion of the winter meet Mar. 28.
The 11-day 2021 Big A spring meet will run Thursday, Apr. 1 through Sunday, Apr. 18 with live racing returning to a Thursday to Sunday schedule. The 2020 spring meet will include 13 stakes worth $2.7 million in purses, highlighted by the 96th running of the $750,000 GII Wood Memorial S. Saturday, Apr. 3. The race will offer 100-40-20-10 GI Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers. The day will also feature the return to Aqueduct of the GI Carter H. after the race was run at Belmont due to the pandemic this year, and the GIII Gazelle S., which will offer 100-40-20-10 GI Kentucky Oaks qualifying points for 3-year-old fillies.
To view the entire stakes schedule for the winter and spring meets, click here.