The New York Racing Association has requested a 257-day racing season for 2006, pending formal submission to and approval by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. The tentative schedule calls for the 2005-2006 inner dirt track meeting at Aqueduct to run from Nov. 30 of this year through March 26, 2006. With a few exceptions, racing is every Wednesday through Sunday at Aqueduct and Belmont Park, and every day but Tuesdays at Saratoga NYRA's tentative 2006 racing calendar begins on New Year's Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, followed by racing Monday, Jan. 2. The track will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 3-4. Aqueduct will also be open on Monday, Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17-18. In February, the Big A will be open on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 20, but closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21-22. Racing returns to Aqueduct's main track on Wednesday, March 29, while in April, there will be no racing on Palm Sunday (April 9) or Easter Sunday (16). Belmont Park's spring/summer meet, featuring the 138th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday, June 10, begins on Wednesday, May 3 and runs through Saturday, July 22. There will be racing on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29 and Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4. The Saratoga meet begins Wednesday, July 26. The 137th running of the grade 1, $1 million Travers, is scheduled for Saturday, August 26.
Saratoga closes on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, and Belmont Park's fall meet opens Friday, Sept. 8. In October, Belmont will be open on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9 and the meet ends on Sunday, October 22. In November, Aqueduct will be closed on Election Day, and there will be an early post time on Saturday, Nov. 4 for the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from Churchill Downs. The early post time will be announced later. Post time will be 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23. Racing will then return to the inner track on Wednesday, Nov. 29 with the Christmas break from Monday, Dec. 18 – Tuesday, Dec. 26.