Edited press release
Expansion of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to two days has led the New York Racing Association to reschedule four stakes to avoid a conflict.
The Breeders’ Cup will be held Oct. 26-27 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Breeders’ Cup has added three $1-million stakes that will be run Friday. The regular eight championship events will be run Saturday.
NYRA announced Jan. 26 the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs, and the $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, have been moved. They were scheduled for Oct. 27 at Aqueduct. The First Flight will now be run on July 8 at Belmont Park, while the Discovery has been moved to Nov. 24, the premier Saturday of the Aqueduct fall meet.
In addition, two $75,000 turf stakes for 2-year-olds have been rescheduled from Oct. 21. The Pilgrim will now be run Sept. 29, and the Miss Grillo will be held Sept. 30 as part of a program with four grade I stakes, including the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
“The recent Breeders’ Cup announcement adding the Dirt Mile, Filly & Mare Sprint, and Juvenile Turf forced this decision to re-position four of our stakes,” NYRA chief operating officer Bill Nader said. “Given the expanded Breeders’ Cup schedule, these four NYRA stakes will better serve horsemen and fans on their revised calendar dates.”