The Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III), which began in 1916 and has been run consecutively since 1963, has been canceled due to a lack of interest, stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said Nov. 12.
The Stuyvesant, a nine-furlong contest for 3-year-olds and up on the main track, was scheduled to be run Nov. 14 at Aqueduct. It carried a $100,000-added purse. Byrnes said it will not be rescheduled for this year.
“We decided today because we only had five entries and two or three of them said they were not going to run if it rained,” Byrnes said. “The forecast calls for two inches (Nov. 14), so we didn’t want a field of two or three horses.
“We would have considered rescheduling it if more people showed interest, but that wasn’t the case. If we brought it back, there was no guarantee that we would have had any more starters. You have to remember, we have the Queens County (gr. III, Dec. 12) in a few weeks so there was no urgency for people to run (in the Stuyvesant).
Byrnes said the five entrants for the Stuyvesant were going to be Dry Martini, Honour Devil, Naughty New Yorker, Timber Reserve, and Tomcito. The connections of both Naughty New Yorker and Timber Reserve said they would likely scratch if it rained.
“Nobody is more frustrated than me about this,” Byrnes continued. “I don’t want to see graded races not go. But you have to get horsemen to support the races.”
The two most notable horses to win the Stuyvesant were Man o’ War, who triumphed in 1920 in the third running of the event as a 3-year-old, and Seattle Slew, who made the final start of his 17-race career there in 1978. Dry Martini won the 2008 Stuyvesant.