ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the stakes schedule for the 2021-22 winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
With 46 stakes races on offer worth nearly $6 million in purses, the 56-day winter meet begins Thursday, December 9 and runs through Sunday, March 27. Live racing will generally be conducted Thursday through Sunday through the end of February with a holiday break set for December 20 – 29 and the addition of a special Presidents’ Day card on Monday, February 21. March will then feature a Friday-Sunday schedule of live racing through the conclusion of the winter meet on March 27.
As previously announced, and in accordance with New York City requirements, fans seeking to enter Aqueduct Racetrack must demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Originally closed to the public during the height of the COVID-19 emergency in March of 2020, Aqueduct then became the site of a New York State mass vaccination center in January 2021. It will re-open to the public on Thursday, November 11, Opening Day of the 18-day 2021 Aqueduct fall meet, which runs through Sunday, December 5.
The Aqueduct winter meet stakes action commences on Saturday, December 11 with the $100,000 Garland of Roses for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up headed six furlongs on the main track. The 2021 NYRA stakes program draws to a close with the $100,000 Bay Ridge on December 30 for New York-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and up and the $100,000 Alex M. Robb on December 31 for New York-breds 3-years-old and up.
January racing will open on New Year’s Day with the one-mile $150,000 Jerome, the first of three Kentucky Derby prep races at the Big A winter meet. The Jerome will offer 10-4-2-1 qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
The nine-furlong $100,000 Busanda for sophomore fillies on January 23 will provide 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top four finishers. The winter meet graded stakes calendar will open with the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses on January 29.
New York’s road to the Kentucky Derby continues at the Big A winter meet with the nine-furlong Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 5, offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers.
The Monday, February 21 Presidents’ Day card will be highlighted by the $100,000 Maddie May for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies going one mile. There will be no live racing on Thursday, February 17 to accommodate the Presidents’ Day card.
A total of 12 racing cards are set for March, featuring eight stakes’ days, including two graded events. The centerpiece of the March racing calendar is the one-mile Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham on March 5, which provides 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers. The Gotham Day card includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap for 4-year-olds and up going six furlongs; the $250,000 Busher Invitational for 3-year-old fillies offering 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers; and the $125,000 Stymie for 4-year-olds and up.
The final weekend of the winter meet will feature a 10-stakes card on New York Claiming Championship Day, Saturday, March 26 and the $100,000 East View on Sunday, March 27.
Admission to Aqueduct, which will be open to the public on live race days only, is free of charge. The gates will open daily at 11 a.m. First post during the Aqueduct fall and winter meets is 12:30 p.m.
Fans visiting Aqueduct should use the Clubhouse Entrance to provide the required proof of vaccination. Preferred parking will be $10 daily in the Clubhouse lot and general parking with be in the Conduit lot. All parking fees must be paid via credit card.
For the complete winter meet stakes schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/stakes-schedule/
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Aqueduct Press Release
Photo: Always Shopping, (NYRA Photo)