NYRA Announces 2009 Stakes Schedule
Date Posted: 12/4/2008 1:55:56 PM
Last Updated: 12/7/2008 3:00:48 PM

Photo: Coglianese Photos

(From NYRA)

The New York Racing Association will raise the purses on 13 grade I races offered at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga in 2009. The hikes are part of the 2009 NYRA stakes schedule, which was approved by NYRA’s Board of Directors at a meeting Dec. 3. It now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

The total value of the 2009 NYRA stakes schedule for 177 stakes races is $34,765,000, of which $28,780,000 is for 113 graded stakes races (40 grade I, 41 grade II and 32 grade III). This includes $350,000 for three steeplechase races.
Of the 115 grade I races held in North America, 40 are held at NYRA tracks, with Saratoga hosting 15 of them. Of these, the Spa’s Go for Wand, Test, NetJets King’s Bishop, Ballerina, Forego, Spinaway and Three Chimneys Hopeful have had their purses increased.
At Belmont, the Acorn, Mother Goose and Prioress will be worth more during the spring/summer meet, while purse increases were granted to the Garden City during Belmont's fall championship meet and to the Gazelle, which was moved from Belmont to HolidayFest during Thanksgiving week at Aqueduct’s fall meet. Also, the Jamaica Handicap for 3-year-olds on the turf was upgraded to grade I status, had its purse increased to $300,000 and will be run Oct. 10.
The 141st running of the $1-million Belmont Stakes will be held June 6. The biggest race of Belmont Park’s fall championship meet, the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, will be run Oct. 3.
Saratoga’s biggest race, the 140th running of the $1-million Shadwell Travers, the “Mid-Summer Derby,” will be run Aug. 29.
The Grade I season in New York will kick off at Aqueduct April 4, with the $750,000 Wood Memorial for 3-year-olds and the $300,000 Carter Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.
The grade I, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile remains the big race of Aqueduct’s fall meet Nov. 28, but will now be joined by the $300,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies at nine furlongs. The card will also feature a pair of important grade II, $200,000 juvenile races at nine furlongs: the Remsen for 2-year-olds and the Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies.
The Gazelle is one of several stakes that have been re-positioned to new spots on the calendar, starting with two turf stakes, the grade III, $100,000-added Fort Marcy for 3-year-olds and up on the turf, and its filly counterpart, the grade III Beaugay, which will move from the end of the Aqueduct meet to Kentucky Derby day, May 2, at the beginning of the Belmont spring/summer season.
Saratoga schedule shifts include the grade II, $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap, which will be run Aug. 2, one week earlier than last year. The grade II, $500,000 Jim Dandy, the local prep for the Travers, will be held Aug. 1, sharing the bill with the grade I, $500,000 Diana for fillies and mares on the turf.
The $750,000 Whitney for 3-year-olds and up moves to the second Saturday of the meet, Aug. 8, joining the $300,000 Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies to create a grade I doubleheader. In 2009, both the grade II, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap for fillies and mares and the grade II, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap will be run Aug. 9.
The grade II, $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf will be featured on Friday, Aug. 14, the new date for Hall of Fame inductions.
Additionally, the grade II, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap for 3-year-olds and up has been moved up one day to Aug. 28, the Friday before the Shadwell Travers. Both the grade I, $300,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares and grade II, $200,000 Ballston Spa for fillies and mares will join the Shadwell Travers day undercard.
The Grade II, $150,000 Bold Ruler for 3-year-olds and up was moved from the Belmont spring meet to the Oct. 31 as part of Aqueduct’s fall meet, where it will serve as a prep for the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile.
The grade III, $100,000-added Fall Highweight Handicap, which will be run on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, was upgraded for 2009.
Here are the meet-by-meet dates with changes of note:
AQUEDUCT WINTER/SPRING MEET
82 days, January 1-April 26
Dark Mondays and Tuesday, except:
Open: Mondays, January 19 and February 16
Dark: Wednesdays, January 21 and February 18; Sundays, April 5 and April 12.
Post times: 12:30 a.m. daily (January 1 – March 8)
1 p.m. daily (March 11 – April 26)
The Aqueduct Handicap has been re-named the Evening Attire, in honor of the 2002 Aqueduct Handicap winner who retired in 2008 at the age of 10, will be run Jan. 17 on the inner dirt track
BELMONT PARK SPRING/SUMMER MEET
64 days, April 29-July 26
Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except:
Open: Monday, May 25
Dark: Wednesday, May 27 and Sunday, June 7
Post times: 1 p.m. daily; Except:
3 p.m. Sunset Fridays, June 12-July 24;
1 p.m. Friday, July 3
The $400,000 Suburban Handicap for 3-year-olds and up July 4 has been changed to grade II status.
SARATOGA RACE COURSE MEET
36 days, July 29-September 7
Dark Tuesdays
Post times: 1 p.m. daily except:
2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31 and Friday, September, 4
Noon on Shadwell Travers Day, Saturday, August 29
The grade I, $300,000 Forego will now be a weight-for-age event Sept. 5, and shares the card with the grade I, $500,000 Woodward for 3-year-olds and up.
The grade I, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on the turf returns to its traditional spot in the middle of the Saratoga season and will be run Aug. 15.
Receiving an upgrade to grade III status is the $100,000 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds on the turf Sept. 4.  
A new race, the $80,000-added Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf, will be run on Sept. 3.
BELMONT PARK FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET
33 days, September 11 – October 25
Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except:
Open: Monday, October 12
Dark: Wednesday, October 14
Post time: 1 p.m. daily
After a one year absence, the grade II, $150,000 Bowling Green for 3-year-olds and up at 11 furlongs on the turf will be moved from Belmont’s spring schedule to the fall on opening day, Sept. 11, to serve as a prep race for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Also in September is a new race, the $100,000 John Hettinger for New York-bred fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the turf Sept. 20. It is named in honor of the late NYRA Trustee, horse owner and advocate.
AQUEDUCT FALL MEET
39 days, October 28-December 31
Dark Mondays and Tuesdays; Christmas break, December 14-25
Post times: 12:30 p.m. Daily except:
Noon on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28
11:25 a.m. on Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
The $65,000-added Gravesend, which will be run at six furlongs Dec. 26, is no longer a grade III race.     
SARATOGA RACE COURSE MEET
36 days, July 29-September 7
Dark Tuesdays
Post times: 1 p.m. daily except:
2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31 and Friday, September, 4
Noon on Shadwell Travers Day, Aug. 29
The grade I, $300,000 Forego will now be a weight-for-age event Sept. 5, and shares the card with the grade I, $500,000 Woodward for 3-year-olds and up.
The grade I, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational on the turf returns to its traditional spot in the middle of the Saratoga season and will be run Aug. 15.
Receiving an upgrade to grade III status is the $100,000 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds on the turf Sept. 4.  
A new race, the $80,000-added Riskaverse for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf, will be run on Sept. 3.
BELMONT PARK FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET
33 days, September 11 – October 25
Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except:
Open: Monday, October 12
Dark: Wednesday, October 14
Post time: 1 p.m. daily
After a one year absence, the grade II, $150,000 Bowling Green for 3-year-olds and up at 11 furlongs on the turf will be moved from Belmont’s spring schedule to the fall on opening day, Sept. 11, to serve as a prep race for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Also in September is a new race, the $100,000 John Hettinger for New York-bred fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the turf Sept. 20. It is named in honor of the late NYRA Trustee, horse owner and advocate.
AQUEDUCT FALL MEET
39 days, October 28-December 31
Dark Mondays and Tuesdays; Christmas break, December 14-25
Post times: 12:30 p.m. Daily except:
Noon on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28
11:25 a.m. on Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
The $65,000-added Gravesend, which will be run at six furlongs Dec. 26, is no longer a grade III race.     
 
 


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