HolidayFest at Aqueduct Racetrack begins tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, and with first race post at 11:25 a.m., there is plenty of time to get a day of racing in before the traditional feast.

Aqueduct’s last live race on Thursday will go to post at 3:10 p.m., with the second-floor clubhouse remaining open for simulcasting until approximately 5:30 p.m. Telebet/internet wagering closes at approximately 6 p.m.

Parking gates will open at 9:15 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and admission gates will open at 9:30 a.m.

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Monterey Jazz, who earned a Beyer Figure of 118 in his eight-length victory in the Grade 3 Texas Mile in April, was en route to Aqueduct today, where he will compete in Saturday’s 20th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile.

“He’s on his way,” said trainer Craig Dollase from California. “He’ll be at Rick Violette’s barn later today and we’re looking forward to the race.”

Dollase will not be in for the race, but has sent assistant Sergio Martin to accompany the 4-year-old Thunderello colt, who has won on turf, dirt and synthetic surfaces. An injury forced Monterey Jazz to miss the summer, but he has won two of three starts this year. His other victory was in the Grade 2 Strub at Santa Anita..

“He hasn’t missed a beat since he’s been back,” Dollase said. “The Cigar Mile is a race we’ve wanted to run in, and he is ready to go. He’ll just gallop into the race.”

Jockey David Flores will fly in to ride Monterey Jazz in the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile.

Also expected for the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile are Arson Squad, Bribon (FR),

Harlem Rocker, Kodiak Kowboy, Storm Play, Tale of Ekati, Visionaire and Wanderin Boy.

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Aqueduct Racetrack will play host to the New York State Lottery on Saturday and Sunday, November 29-20.

Operating in front of the NYRA Store on the second floor, clubhouse, the NYSL will have its Prize Wheel and Lottery PLINKO board set up for lucky patrons. Customers will get one spin for Lottery prizes each time they purchase $10 of Holiday instant tickets from the NYRA Store. Any customer who purchases $20 worth of Holiday instant tickets will receive one chip to drop into the PLINKO board..

A race named “New York Lottery’s Holiday Cashword” will also be run during the weekend.

Gunnery Sergeant Alexander Mesa of the United States Marine Corps Reserves will be at Aqueduct on Saturday, December 6 from noon – 2 p.m. to represent USMCR’s annual Toys for Tots drive. He will be on the first floor, clubhouse near the escalators, and will gladly accept new toys and cash donations.

For years, Major Chuck Kilbride represented the Marines at Aqueduct for the Toys for Tots drive. This year, he was deployed to Iraq.