Aqueduct

After Raising Purses, NYRA Hoping For Strong Winter Run at Aqueduct

It's racing during the frigid winter months at a blue-collar racetrack, so Aqueduct may not always be the easiest sell. But New York Racing Association (NYRA) officials are expecting a strong five-month run once the track opens Nov. 6, counting on robust purses to convince owners and trainers to choose the Big A over options like Gulfstream and Oaklawn. Typically, purses decrease once the fall meet at Belmont is over. Racing at Aqueduct handles less than it does at Belmont and there is a drop off in the quality. But...

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NYRA Releases Jockey Protocols for Aqueduct

NYRA released its COVID-19 protocols Saturday for jockeys riding at the Aqueduct fall meet, which runs from Nov. 6 to Dec. 6. Members of the Aqueduct jockey colony who travel to ride at any other racetrack during the fall meet will be required to provide two negative COVID-19 tests taken within a five-day window in order to return to ride at Aqueduct. Jockeys traveling out of state who have completed the required testing will then be physically isolated in the jockey quarters for three additional calendar days. Jockeys not currently...

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NYRA Releases Aqueduct Winter/Spring Schedules With Extended Purse Bumps

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...

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Peterson, Krone, To Aqueduct Fall Meet

Ferrin Peterson, the second-leading rider at Monmouth this summer, plans to begin riding at the Aqueduct Fall Meeting when it opens November 6, she said Monday, adding that she intended to ride through the winter at the track. Jockeys joining the colony need to test negative for COVID in New York twice the week leading up to the meet, and to continue to follow strict protocols thereafter. Peterson, 28, has made a splash this summer on the Jersey Shore, for both on and off-track reasons. She rode 42 winners at...

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Stakes Schedule Announced for Aqueduct Fall Meet

The New York Racing Association, Inc. has announced race dates for the 18-day Aqueduct Racetrack fall meet, offering 29 stakes, including 11 graded events, worth $3.41 million in purse money, that will kick off Friday, Nov. 6 and run through Sunday, Dec. 6. Opening weekend of the Big A fall meet, which coincides with the Breeders' Cup set for Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course, includes the GIII Turnback the Alarm H. and the GIII Nashua S. Closing weekend features seven stakes worth $1.4 million beginning Saturday, Dec. 5 with...

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To Hell and Back: Belmont Marks a Deserved Triumph for New York City

The history of Belmont Park, believe it or not, goes back over 350 years, to when America itself wasn't even an idea yet. In 1665, New York's colonial governor Richard Nicholl constructed a racetrack called Newmarket in Queens. It stood for over a century, and proved so popular that even after the British were expelled in 1783, a thirst for horse racing lived on in the hearts of newly independent New Yorkers. Union Course sprouted up in 1821 and became the country's leading track. After that came Brighton Beach Race...

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Barker and Kantarmaci Win Under 20’s Claiming Challenge

Trainers Eddie Barker and Mertkan Kantarmaci finished as co-leaders of the Under 20's Claiming Challenge for the Aqueduct winter meet, NYRA announced Friday. They were each awarded $16,500 for their joint winning effort in the program, which is open to local trainers with 20 or fewer horses. The shared victory marked the third consecutive win in the series for Kantarmaci, who won the 2018-19 Aqueduct winter and 2019 Belmont spring/summer Under 20s Claiming Challenge titles outright. Kantarmaci now oversees a stable of 16 horses in New York with the assistance...

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New York Race Track Chaplaincy Launches Matching Gift Campaign for Food Pantry

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America has launched a matching gift drive for its food pantry that will benefit backstretch workers at Belmont Park as they deal with the many challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Donations to the food pantry made between now and June 6 will be matched up to $25,000 by a member of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) Board of Directors. That gives the Chaplaincy the potential to raise up to $50,000 for its pantry, one of the few in the area...

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Wagering Plummets By 22% in March

With only a handful of tracks still racing due to the coronavirus, wagering on the sport took a huge hit in the month of March, falling by 22.58% over 2019 figures. A total of $731 million was bet during the month, a $214 million drop from 2019 figures. The numbers were released Friday by Equibase. "Obviously, it was a tough month," said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. "As damning as these number appear, the No. 1 priority right now is the health and safety of our employees. We're like...

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New York Horsemen Soldier On Amid Pandemic

On Mar. 19, the New York Racing Association suspended racing for an undetermined period after a backstretch worker tested positive for COVID-19, which left New York horsemen scrambling to adjust and come up with Plan B for themselves, their horses and their staff. Nine days later--following the announcement that Aqueduct had been approved as a temporary hospital site--NYRA announced that the rest of the Aqueduct winter meet would be canceled and the Ozone Park oval would not host its traditional spring meet, headlined by the GII Wood Memorial S. "On...

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Rice, Franco, Repeat Aqueduct Winter Meet Titles

Trainer Linda Rice notched 40 wins for her second consecutive winter meet crown, while jockey Manny Franco posted 64 victories to win his third consecutive winter meet title at Aqueduct Racetrack. Drawing Away Stable bested all owners with 19 wins for the abbreviated winter meet that ran from Dec. 12 through Mar. 15. "It's exciting to win another title," said Rice of her title defense. "I was pleased to finally come away with a win last year and it's great to build on that success. I changed my business model...

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The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation Donates Face Shields to NYRA

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation has donated 1,000 Kroop's Brands face shields to the New York Racing Association racetrack community as it deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. NYRA's Aqueduct Racetrack is the location for a temporary medical facility being constructed to help during the pandemic.  "The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is committed to helping Thoroughbred racing industry personnel, and providing face shields to NYRA during this difficult time is another way that we are able to help," said Shannon Kelly, executive director, The Jockey Club...

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