New York Thoroughbred racing action moves to Aqueduct Racetrack Friday, Nov. 2, with opening weekend featuring the the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park.
Patrons are invited to check out the newly refurbished second floor, where complimentary hors d'oevres and soft beverages will be provided from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, Nov. 4. The area has been fully repainted and outfitted with new carpeting, seating, handicapping carrels, and flat screen televisions.
Admission to the Big A is always free, with admission gates opening at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern) Friday, and a first race post time of 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, the first race will go off at 12:15 p.m. and through the end of November on most days at 12:20 p.m.
In addition to the Breeders' Cup simulcast on Friday and Saturday, Aqueduct offers live racing over the three-day opening weekend. The Saturday, Nov. 3 card includes the 53rd running of the $200,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf. A pair of one-mile juvenile events are on Sunday, the $200,000 Nashua (gr. II) and the $150,000 Tempted (gr. III) for fillies.
The Red Smith is the first of 11 graded stakes at the Big A in 2012, including the Heineken Holidayfest centerpieces of the meet, the $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) and the $350,000 Gazelle (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Nov. 24.
Heineken Holidayfest kicks off with the $150,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, with gates opening at 10 a.m. and a first race post time of 11:25 a.m. The holiday action continues Nov. 23 with the $200,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares and a noon first race post time. Joining the Cigar Mile and Gazelle on Saturday, which also has a first-race post time of noon, are the $250,000 Remsen (gr. II) for 2-year-olds and the $250,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies.
Live racing is regularly scheduled Wednesday through Sunday at Aqueduct, which, along with the Belmont Café, is also open on dark days for simulcasting.
Aqueduct will be closed for live racing from Dec. 17 through Christmas Day and will reopen Wednesday, Dec. 26.