Under 20’s Challenge To Run In Two Divisions for Aqueduct Winter/Spring Meets

December 18, 2022

By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— The Under 20’s Challenge will return for the upcoming winter and spring meets at Aqueduct Racetrack with two divisions: Division A for trainers with 11-20 stalls and Division B for trainers with 1-10 stalls.

The program, launched in 2018 and open to local trainers with 20 or fewer horses nationwide, will begin on Sunday, January 1, Opening Day of the Aqueduct winter meet which runs through Sunday, March 26. The Challenge will come to a close at the conclusion of the 19-day Big A spring meet, which spans Thursday, March 30 through Sunday, April 30.

The top-six trainers in Division A will share a prize pool of $60,000 with the winner receiving $16,000. The top-five trainers in Division B will share a prize pool of $50,000 with the winner also receiving $16,000. Stall allotments for the 2023 Aqueduct winter/spring meets will be used to determine eligible trainers.

Trainers earn points based on their horses’ performances in overnight races at Aqueduct from January 1 through the end of the Big A spring meet. Stakes races will not count for the purpose of this contest. Points will be tallied and records verified on May 30, and awards will be granted thereafter.

To retain eligibility in Division A, there can be no more than 20 horses on a trainer’s roster at any given time, although a trainer’s stable may grow above 20 horses through claiming activity. A trainer may replace a claimed horse who was on their roster with another claimed horse. After a horse is claimed, it will be added to the trainer’s roster only at the trainer’s request.

To retain eligibility in Division B, there can be no more than 10 horses on a trainer’s roster at any given time, although a trainer’s stable may grow above 10 horses through claiming activity. A trainer may replace a claimed horse who was on their roster with another claimed horse. After a horse is claimed, it will be added to the trainer’s roster only at the trainer’s request.

A horse that ends up on the stewards’ list for poor performance will not earn the trainer points for that race. Horses that are running for 50 percent or less of the claiming price from their most recent start will only be eligible to earn 50 percent of the typical points for that race.

In addition, horses can only earn contest points for two races within a given 30-day time period. A horse may enter in additional races during that time frame but will not earn contest points for those additional races.

Contest point structure:

Dirt Races – All non-stakes races

  •            1st Place – 6 points
  •            2nd Place – 5 points
  •            3rd Place – 4 points
  •            4th Place – 3 points
  •            5th Place – 2 points

Turf Races – All non-stakes races

  •            1st Place – 5 points
  •            2nd Place – 4 points
  •            3rd Place – 3 points
  •            4th Place – 2 points
  •            5th Place – 1 point

Trainer Bonuses:

Division A (stalls 11-20) – Prize Pool: $60,000

  •            1st Place – $16,000
  •            2nd Place – $12,000
  •            3rd Place – $10,000
  •            4th Place – $9,000
  •            5th Place – $7,000
  •            6th Place – $6,000

Division B (stalls 1-10) – Prize Pool: $50,000

  •            1st Place – $16,000
  •            2nd Place – $12,000
  •            3rd Place – $10,000
  •            4th Place – $7,000
  •            5th Place – $5,000

Deadlines:

  •         December 29, 2022 – All contest applications must be in no later than 3:30 p.m.
  •         December 31 – List of eligible contest trainers posted
  •         January 1 – Contest begins
  •         March 31 – No additional horses may be added to earn contest points (unless replacing a claimed or injured horse as outlined above)
  •         April 30 – Contest ends
  •         June 1 – Awards scheduled to be paid out

Past winners of the Under 20s Challenge:

  • 2021-22 Aqueduct winter/spring meet – Oscar Barrera, III
  • 2021 Belmont spring/summer – Mertkan Kantarmaci
  • 2020-21 Aqueduct winter – Mertkan Kantarmaci
  • 2019-20 Aqueduct winter – Eddie Barker/Mertkan Kantarmaci (tie)
  • 2019 Belmont spring/summer – Mertkan Kantarmaci
  • 2018-19 Aqueduct winter – Mertkan Kantarmaci
  • 2018 Belmont spring/summer – Eddie Barker

For more information, please visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/horsemen.

@Jonathanstettin Very well written article. The sport will be missed by many...The time is now

Kirkrobinson @OaklawnLover View testimonials

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