Monday, December 15, 2014

NYRA unveils stakes-laden "Spring Showcase" at the Big A


Monday, December 15, 2014


Contact: Jenny Kellner

(718) 659-2244


NYRA unveils stakes-laden "Spring Showcase" at the Big A


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial will be supported by 13 other stakes worth an additional $2.3 million when racing moves to the main track on April 1 for Aqueduct Racetrack's 19-day Spring Showcase meet.


New York's traditional prep for the Kentucky Derby, the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial is one of five stakes on Saturday, April 4, including its Grade 1 counterpart, the $400,000 Carter Handicap at seven furlongs. Joining the first two Grade 1 events on the New York Racing Association calendar that day will be the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, the Grade 3, $300,000 Bay Shore for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs, and the season's first turf stakes, the inaugural $100,000 Danger's Hour for 4-year-olds and up at a mile on the grass.


Other new additions to the Big A's boutique meet include the $100,000, one-mile Plenty of Grace for turf fillies and mares on April 11; the $100,000, 1 1/16-mile Woodhaven for 3-year-olds on the grass on April 18 and its sister race, the $100,000 Memories of Silver for 3-year-old turf fillies on April 19; and the $100,000, 6 ½-furlong Belle Harbor for 3-year-old fillies on closing day, April 26.


The meet will run Wednesdays through Sundays, with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 5. Stall applications for the Aqueduct spring meet and Belmont spring/summer meet are due Thursday, February 26.


"The 'Spring Showcase' meet at Aqueduct will usher in the season with at least one stakes race on every Saturday and Sunday that we run," said Martin Panza, Senior Vice-President of Racing Operations for the New York Racing Association. "As well, the addition of four new stakes races on the turf in conjunction with the return of racing to the main track will further enhance the meet for horsemen and fans alike."


Overnight purses will increase during the Aqueduct spring meet with maiden special weight purses rising to $70,000. Purses for first, second and third-level allowance races will rise to $72,000, $74,000 and $78,000, respectively.


"Overnight races comprise the backbone of our racing schedule, and the purses will rise in accordance with the new focus on this special meet," said Panza, who noted that the only "Spring Showcase" races that will not receive a hike in purses are claiming races that already are at their statutory limits.


Rounding out the stakes schedule for the 19-day meet is a trio of traditional graded stakes: the Grade 3, $200,000 Top Flight Handicap for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, April 11; the Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap for filly and mare sprinters on Saturday, April 18, and the Grade 3, $200,000 Excelsior at 1 ¼ miles on Saturday, April 25.


Joining the Belle Harbor on closing day at the Big A are two 6 ½-furlong New York Stallion Series races for 3-year-olds: the $100,000 Times Square and the $100,000 Park Avenue for fillies.


Following the conclusion of Spring Showcase on April 26, racing will return to Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 29, for the 59-day Belmont spring/summer meet. The centerpiece of this meet is the 2015 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, featuring the 147th running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 6.




Forward this email

This email was sent to by |  

The New York Racing Association, Inc. | NYRA | Press Office | P.O. Box 90 | Jamaica | NY | 11417