Race Tracks > Aqueduct
Aqueduct Racetrack Facts
- Address:110-00 Rockaway Blvd Jamaica, NY 11420
- Phone: (718) 641-4700
- Website: www.NYRA.com/Aqueduct
- Main track (dirt): 1 1/8 mile oval
- Inner dirt track: 1 mile oval
- Turf: 7/8 mile 43 feet, oval
- Stables: 547 stalls, 14 barns (2 receiving, 1 pony)
One of America’s oldest horse racing venues, Aqueduct Racetrack opened in 1894. The property at the time belonged to the Brooklyn Water Works, on a parcel also containing an aqueduct bringing water to New York City from the Hempstead Plain.
Aqueduct Winter Meet 2021-22
|DATE||RACE||PURSE / RESTRICTIONS||SURFACE / DISTANCE|
|Saturday, Dec 11||Garland of Roses||$100,000 / F&M 3&UP||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Dec 18||NYSSS Fifth Avenue Division||$500,000 / F2YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Dec 18||NYSSS Great White Way Division||$500,000 / 2YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Sunday, Dec 19||Gravesend||$100,000 / 3&UP||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Sunday, Dec 19||Queens County||$125,000 / 3&UP||Dirt / 1 1/8|
|Thursday, Dec 30||Bay Ridge (NYB)||$100,000 / F&M 3&UP||Dirt / 1 1/8|
|Friday, Dec 31||Alex M. Robb (NYB)||$100,000 / 3&UP||Dirt / 1 1/8|
|Friday, Jan 01||Jerome||$150,000 / 3YO||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Saturday, Jan 02||La Verdad (NYB)||$100,000 / F&M 4&UP||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Jan 08||Say Florida Sandy (NYB)||$100,000 / 4&UP||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Jan 09||Rego Park (NYB)||$100,000 / 3 YO||Dirt / 6 1/2 Furlongs|
|Friday, Jan 15||Franklin Square (NYB)||$100,000 / F 3YO||Dirt / 6 1/2 Furlongs|
|Friday, Jan 15||Interborough||$100,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Jan 16||Ladies Handicap||$100,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 1 Mile 1/8|
|Friday, Jan 22||Jazil||$100,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 1 1/8|
|Saturday, Jan 23||Busanda||$100,000 / F 3YO||Dirt / 1 Mile 1/8|
|Friday, Jan 29||Toboggan||$150,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Jan 30||Jimmy Winkfield||$100,000 / 3 YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Feb 05||Withers||$250,000 / 3 YO||Dirt / 1 Mile 1/8|
|Saturday, Feb 06||Ruthless||$100,000/ F 3YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Feb 12||Gander (NYB)||$100,000 / 3 YO||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Saturday, Feb 13||Broadway (NYB)||$100,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Friday, Feb 19||Hollie Hughes (NYB)||$100,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Sunday, Feb 21||Maddie May (NYB)||$100,000/ F 3YO||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Feb 26||Stymie||$125,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 05||Busher Invitational||$250,000 / F 3YO||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 05||Gotham||$300,000 / 3YO||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 05||Heavenly Prize Invitational||$125,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 05||Tom Fool Handicap||$200,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Mar 06||Biogio's Rose (NYB)||$100,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 12||Correction||$100,000 / F&M 4&Up||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Mar 13||Damon Runyon (NYB)||$100,000 / 3YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 19||Cicada||$100,000 / F 3YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Mar 20||Haynesfield (NYB)||$100,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 26||Belle Gallantey (Starter $8,000)||$45,000 / F&M 4&UP||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Dads Caps (Starter $8,000)||$45,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Caixa Eletronica (Starter $40,000)||$80,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Stud Muffin (Starter $25,000)||$75,000 / 4 & Up||Dirt / 1 3/8|
|Friday, Mar 26||Peeping Tom (Starter $20,000)||$70,000 / 4 & UP||Dirt / 6 1/2 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Xtra Heat (Starter $25,000)||$75,000 / F&M 4&UP||Dirt / 6 1/2 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Sis City (Starter $16,000)||$60,000 / F&M 4&UP||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 26||More To Tell (Starter $16,000)||$60,000 / 4 & UP||Dirt / 1 Mile|
|Friday, Mar 26||Videogenic (Starter $12,500)||$55,000 / F&M 4&UP||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Friday, Mar 26||Kelly Kip (Starter $12,500)||$55,000 / 4 & UP||Dirt / 6 Furlongs|
|Saturday, Mar 27||East View (NYB)||$100,000 / F3YO||Dirt / 7 Furlongs|
Aqueduct Racing and Track History
Aqueduct, colloquially known as “The Big A,” has been a name associated with Thoroughbred racing in New York since the late 19th century. The original track by that name opened in 1894 and operated until 1955, when it was dismantled and rebuilt in close proximity to the old facility.
The current Aqueduct, located near John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, opened to great fanfare in the fall of 1959 and immediately became the most attended of the three New York Racing Association tracks.
Throughout the 1960s, daily average attendance and handle at Aqueduct were among the highest of any track in the country. Saturday afternoon crowds of 40,000-60,000 were common, with holiday programs often attracting larger throngs.
For five years, from 1963-67, Aqueduct hosted both its regular meetings and those of Belmont Park, which was reconstructed during that period. During this time all of the races associated with Belmont, including the Belmont Stakes, were contested at Aqueduct. Two Triple Crown attempts – Northern Dancer’s in 1964 and Kauai King’s in 1966 – were actually foiled at Aqueduct.
Since its reopening Aqueduct has both opened and closed the New York racing season. In the days of seasonal racing, Aqueduct typically opened the season in mid-March and closed it in early or mid-December. Brief meetings in July and September were also common.
By the mid-1970s racing in New York became a year-round affair, and Aqueduct became the home of wintertime racing. Racing is now held at the track in January, February, March, April, November, and December.
Except for the months of April and November, racing is held on the track’s winterized, one-mile inner dirt track, located inside the main nine-furlong dirt oval. The inner dirt was formerly the track’s main turf course. Turf racing is held, weather permitting, on a seven-furlong course inside the inner dirt.
Nearly every significant champion in the 1960s and early 1970s competed at least once at Aqueduct, including Hall of Fame performers Kelso, Buckpasser, Damascus, Dr. Fager, Secretariat, and Forego. Triple Crown hero Seattle Slew twice raced at Aqueduct, winning the 1977 Wood Memorial and 1978 Stuyvesant Handicap.
From the late 1970s onwards Aqueduct hosted fewer of the circuit’s major stakes, and thus the track no longer attracts the very best horses in training on a routine basis. The introduction of off-track-betting in the early 1970s also cut into the track’s attendance figures. Although the facility is still capable of holding crowds of 50,000 and upward, the track has not seen a turnout like that in decades.
Aqueduct hosted the second edition of the Breeders’ Cup in 1985 with a crowd of more than 42,000 on hand. It is unlikely that figure has been exceeded on any racing day in the interim, and paid attendance, even on their biggest days, struggles to reach five figures.
Most of the Aqueduct grandstand was converted into the Resorts World Casino in 2011 and much of the land that was the track’s massive parking lots have been sold for commercial development.
The track itself has three courses. The Main Track, which is dirt, has a circumference of 1 1/8 miles; inside of this circuit is the one-mile Inner Dirt Track, consisting of a special type of dirt over which races are run during the winter; and the innermost course is a Turf (grass) course, spanning 7 furlongs plus 43 feet.
In 1941, a new clubhouse and track offices were built. In 1956, the track was torn down and after remodeling Aqueduct was re-opened in 1959. In 1975, the grass was uprooted and the Inner Dirt Track took its place as the permit circuit for year-round racing. From 1959-71, the track was idle from shortly before Christmas to March, until off-track betting began in New York City. In the fall of 2005, construction began on the Aqueduct grandstand, and resulted in the installation of a 4,500 video lottery terminal casino.
Aqueduct Racetrack has an impressive 17,000-person seating capacity, with a total capacity of 40,000. A courtesy shuttle bus service is available from all general areas of the parking lot that holds up to 8,000 cars. This track offers several amenities from a 1,200-seat fine-dining restaurant – where the recommended dress attire is elegant – to a children’s playroom.