Aqueduct Releases Winter Stakes Schedule Worth $7.3 Million In Purses

by | 11.30.2018 | 2:41pm

Aqueduct Racetrack's winter and spring meets will feature a total of 52 stakes worth more than $7.3 million in purses, highlighted by the Big A's traditional spring showcase, the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 6.

The 2019 winter meet will be buoyed by the addition of one new stakes event, the $100,000 Bernardini at 1 5/16 miles on the main track for 4-year-olds and upward, which is slated for March 2. Named in honor of the Darley Stable homebred who was named Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old in 2006 for trainer Tom Albertrani, Bernardini reeled off a streak of six straight wins, including Grade 1 scores in the Preakness at Pimlico, the Travers at Saratoga Race Course and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Purse increases will be recognized in the $250,000 Busher Invitational for sophomore fillies, up $50,000 from a year ago, while the New York Stallion Series Times Square Division and Park Avenue Division will each double to $200,000, to close out stakes racing for the spring meet at the Big A on April 20.

New York's “Road to the Kentucky Derby” kicks off on Saturday with the Grade 2 Remsen, as part of the Cigar Mile card, and will continue into the Aqueduct winter meet, which begins on December 7, with the Grade 3, $150,000 Jerome contested at one mile on New Year's Day, followed on February 2 by the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at 1 1/8 miles, each worth 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers towards a spot in the Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

The Derby prep season will heat up the following month with the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham (50-20-10-5 points) at a mile on March 9 as a precursor to the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (100-40-20-10 points), which anchors an outstanding day of thoroughbred racing.

One of five graded stakes on the April 6 card, the Wood Memorial will be joined by the 119th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter Handicap for 4-year-olds and up at seven furlongs; the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, the final Aqueduct prep for the Kentucky Oaks; the Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore for sophomore sprinters; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Excelsior for older horses at 1 1/8 miles.

Turf stakes return on Wood Memorial weekend with the fourth running of the $100,000 Danger's Hour for 4-year-olds and up at a mile on the grass on Sunday, April 7.

Live racing moves to Belmont Park on Friday, April 26.

Visit to view the entire stakes calendar for the Aqueduct winter and spring meets.

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