All stabling and training of racehorses will be shifted from Aqueduct Racetrack to Belmont Park beginning Jan. 1, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced Thursday.
“As this change takes effect, we appreciate the patience and understanding of horsemen who utilized Aqueduct as a primary base of operations,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA’s VP of Facilities and Racing Surfaces. “The consolidation of NYRA’s winter training activities to Belmont Park follows years of barn renovations and new construction, resulting in a facility that now features 2,500 stalls and can easily accommodate the relatively small number of horses who previously resided at Aqueduct as well as the 1,200-1,300 horses generally stabled at Belmont during the winter months.”
Belmont provides multiple training options appropriate for a variety of weather conditions, particularly during the winter months. Belmont features a one-mile training track, which was fully renovated and significantly widened in 2016, as well as two covered jogging barns, each with a synthetic surface, and a quarter-mile pony track.
“Historically, the vast majority of Aqueduct starters have been stabled at Belmont and ship the short distance [nine miles] to Aqueduct to compete on race day,” said Kozak. “That is why NYRA places a great deal of focus on maintaining the Belmont training track in a way that is consistent with the surface at Aqueduct.”
NYRA will assume the initial costs associated with the re-stabling of horses at Belmont and will continue to provide race day transportation between Belmont and Aqueduct.