Aqueduct Racetrack

Aqueduct Racetrack

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New York Racing Moves to Aqueduct Oct. 29

Opening weekend will feature Breeders' Cup simulcast and a trio of graded stakes.

Thoroughbred racing action moves to Aqueduct Racetrack Oct. 29, when the opening weekend will feature the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park as well as a trio of live graded stakes.

On opening day, patrons will be greeted by more than $14 million in capital improvements to the facility. Notable upgrades include high-definition infield video boards equipped with Trakus technology, 557 flat screen HD televisions, and new airport-style seating. The changes go along with improvements designed to increase the quality and safety of racing.

Racing fans can cheer on their favorite New York horses and watch and wager on all of the Breeders' Cup action Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Admission to the Big A is free, with gates opening at 11 a.m. EDT. Aqueduct's first race post time on Friday and Saturday is 1 p.m. ET.

In addition to the Breeders' Cup simulcast, Aqueduct offers live racing over the five-day opening week. Action is highlighted by Saturday's $200,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds, and a pair of one-mile juvenile events on Sunday: the $250,000 Nashua (gr. II) and the $250,000 Tempted (gr. III) for fillies.

The Discovery is the first of 11 graded stakes at the Big A through the end of 2014 including the meet's centerpiece, the $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 29. The purse incentive for the race, which was introduced in 2013, will remain intact. Any previous grade I winner who competes in the Cigar Mile will race for a gross purse of $750,000, while a winner of any Breeders' Cup race will run for a purse of $1 million.

Five other graded stakes round out the holiday racing action, which kicks off with the $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, and continues on Friday with the $300,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. II). Joining the Cigar Mile on Saturday are the $400,000 Remsen (gr. II) for 2-year-olds; $400,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies; and the $400,000 Comely (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies.

Post time on Thanksgiving Day is 11:25 a.m. ET, with the first race going off at noon Nov. 29-30.

Aqueduct generally will be open Wednesday through Sunday with a first-race post time of 12:20 p.m. ET. The Big A will be closed for live racing from Dec. 16-25 for a Christmas break, and will reopen for live racing Dec. 26.