By Pat McKenna – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the stakes schedule for the 2023 spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, featuring 14 stakes worth nearly $2.8 million in total purses.
The 19-day spring meet will open on March 30 and continue through April 30. Live racing will be conducted Thursday-Sunday except for April 9, when live racing and pari-mutuel wagering is prohibited by New York State in observance of Easter Sunday.
The Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap, a seven-furlong contest for older fillies and mares, will kick off the spring meet graded stakes action on Friday, April 7.
A blockbuster Wood Memorial Day card on April 8 will feature four graded stakes, topped by the 98th running of the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino. The nine-furlong test for 3-year-olds will offer 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
Wood Memorial Day will raise the curtain on Grade 1 racing on the NYRA circuit in 2023 with the $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses. In addition, the April 8 card will include a pair of Grade 3 races – the $250,000 Gazelle at nine furlongs for sophomore fillies offering 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers; and the $200,000 Bay Shore, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomores.
Opening Weekend of the spring meet, on Saturday, April 1, features the $125,000 Excelsior at 1 1/8 miles for older horses; followed by the $100,000 Top Flight for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles, on Sunday, April 2.
Closing weekend of the Big A spring meet offers the $100,000 Memories of Silver for 3-year-old fillies headed one mile on the turf. The spring meet will conclude on Sunday, April 30 with a race that moves over this year from Belmont Park, the $100,000 Affirmed Success at six furlongs for New York-bred older horses.
For the complete Aqueduct spring meet stakes schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/stakes-schedule/.