Wood Memorial Heads Aqueduct Meet
The $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), the New York Racing Associations’s leading prep for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will be run April 9 at Aqueduct. The Wood Memorial is the centerpiece for the Aqueduct 2011 winter/spring meeting consisting of 11 graded stakes worth $2.35 million. The 80-day meet begins Jan. 1.
The Wood Memorial highlights a main track card that includes the $250,000 Carter (gr. I) at seven furlongs, the $200,000 Bay Shore (gr. III) for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs, and the $150,000 Comely (gr. III) for 3-year-old filly milers.
Returning to the Big A’s stakes schedule in 2011 are the $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs, which will be run on Gotham Stakes day March 5, and the $150,000 Jerome (gr. II) for 3-year-olds going a mile, which will be run April 23.
The Tom Fool was run at Aqueduct in 1975 and 1976 while the Jerome was run at Aqueduct in 1960 and 1962-67. Both races had been held at Belmont Park a number of years.
Rotating off the 2011 Aqueduct winter/spring stakes calendar are the $150,000 Withers (gr. III), which is being alternated with the Jerome, and the $65,000 Paumonok.
Replacing the spot the Paumonok had occupied on the calendar is the Toboggan (gr. III), which in previous years had been run on the Gotham undercard. The Toboggan, which has a purse of $100,000, will be run Jan. 22, giving the Big A an earlier-than-usual start on the graded stakes season.
The Tom Fool also had its purse increased to $150,000 from $100,000.
The changes give Aqueduct’s winter/spring meet one more graded stakes than last year. There will be two grade I events, three grade II stakes, and six grade III stakes.
The Big A also will offer 18 listed and New York-bred stakes worth $1.24 million, beginning New Year’s weekend with the $65,000 Interborough for fillies and mares going six furlongs and the $65,000 Count Fleet for 3-year-olds at one mile, 70 yards on Jan. 1, and the $65,000 Ruthless for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs on Jan. 2.
The Aqueduct winter/spring stakes schedule, which was approved by the NYRA Board of Directors, now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
2011 AQUEDUCT WINTER/SPRING STAKES SCHEDULE
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