Aqueduct and Belmont Schedules Announced

Stakes programs for the 2011 Belmont and Aqueduct fall meets have been set.

The New York Racing Association has announced its stakes programs for the 2011 Belmont fall meet and Aqueduct fall meet, featuring 30 graded stakes races and nearly $9 million in purses.

The Belmont meet begins on Saturday, Sept. 10 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 30, with 37 days of scheduled live racing. The marquee afternoon of racing falls on Oct. 1 with five grade I races – the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Flower Bowl, Beldame, and Vosburgh.

Other grade I races during the Belmont meet are the Garden City Sept. 17, and the Champagne, Frizette, and Jamaica Oct. 8.

Belmont also hosts New York Showcase Day Oct. 22, which includes seven stakes races totaling $900,000 in purses for New York-bred horses and featuring a day of great activities for the entire family to enjoy.

There are also eight Breeders’ Cup Challenge races during the Belmont fall meet, comprising the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Flower Bowl, Beldame, Vosburgh, Champagne, and Frizette, as well as the Kelso (gr. II) Oct. 1.

One notable change is that the Nashua (gr. II) and the Tempted (gr. III), both run during the 2010 Aqueduct fall meet at one mile, have been moved to the Belmont meet and will be run Oct. 2 at six furlongs. The date and distances for those races were changed to provide horsemen prep races for the newly created Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, which will be run at six furlongs.

The 2011 Aqueduct fall meeting starts on Friday, Nov. 4 and runs through Dec. 31, with 37 live racing days scheduled.

The premier day of racing is Nov. 26, featuring the Cigar Mile and Gazelle (both gr. I); and the Remsen and Demoiselle (both gr. II).

The Go For Wand (gr. II), which was on hiatus in 2010, returns to the NYRA stakes schedule and will be run on the Aqueduct main track Nov. 25.

“Year after year, many of the eventual year-end champions participate in the terrific stakes schedule that we feature during the Belmont and Aqueduct fall meets,” said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward in a statement. “Once again, we are excited to offer an unparalleled slate of fall stakes that includes races in nearly every category.”