Edited NYRA Staff Release – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the stakes schedule for the 2023 winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, which will feature 25 stakes races worth $3.2 million in purses.
The 44-day Big A winter meet begins New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1, and runs through Sunday, March 26 with live racing conducted Thursday-Sunday until February 12. From Friday, February 17 through the end of the winter meet, live racing will be held Friday-Sunday, with the addition of a special Presidents’ Day card on Monday, February 20.
The Aqueduct winter meet stakes action kicks off on New Year’s Day with the $150,000 Ladies for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
The following weekend, on Saturday, January 7, the one-mile $150,000 Jerome will be the first of three Kentucky Derby prep races at the Big A winter meet. The Jerome will offer 10-4-3-2-1 qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
The nine-furlong $100,000 Busanda for 3-year-old fillies on January 14 will provide 20-8-6-4-2 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers. The winter meet graded stakes calendar kicks off with the Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses on January 28.
New York’s Road to the Kentucky Derby continues at the Big A winter meet with the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 4, offering 20-8-6-4-2 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
The Monday, February 20 Presidents’ Day card will be highlighted by the $100,000 Haynesfield for New York-breds, 4-years-old and up going one mile. There will be no live racing on Thursday, February 16 to accommodate the Presidents’ Day card.
The centerpiece of the March racing calendar is the one-mile Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham on March 4, which provides 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.
The Gotham Day card includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap for 4-year-olds and up going six furlongs and the one-mile $200,000 Busher for 3-year-old fillies, offering 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
The final weekend of the winter meet will feature the $100,000 East View for New York-bred sophomore fillies going six furlongs on Friday, March 24 followed by New York Claiming Championship Day on Saturday, March 25 with six starter events offering a combined $380,000 in purse money.