by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the stakes schedule for the 2023 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, which will offer 33 stakes, 10 of them graded events, worth a total of $6.385 million.
Following the conclusion of Belmont at the Big A fall meet which spans Thursday, September 14 through Sunday, October 29, the 31-day Aqueduct fall meet will run from Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, December 31.
The Aqueduct fall meet will be highlighted by the Grade 2, $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward on Saturday, December 2. The lucrative Cigar Mile Day program co-features the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen going nine furlongs for juveniles as well as the nine-furlong Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle for juvenile fillies. Also slated for the card is the Grade 3, $200,000 Go for Wand Handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward traveling a one-turn mile over the main track.
The stakes action begins on Friday, November 3 with the listed $150,000 Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going nine furlongs and the listed $150,000 Discovery for sophomores traveling the same distance. The stakes action continues Saturday, November 4, with a pair of $120,000 turf sprints in the Atlantic Beach for 2-year-olds and the Stewart Manor for juvenile fillies. The Sunday, November 5 program will offer a pair of listed $150,000 one-mile dirt routes with the Nashua for 2-year-olds and the Tempted for juvenile fillies.
The following weekend will see a trio of graded stakes events, including the Grade 3, $200,000 Pebbles for sophomore fillies going one mile on the turf on November 11, which was previously run during the Belmont Park fall meet. The card will also feature the Grade 2, $300,000 Red Smith for 3-year-olds and upward going 11 furlongs on the grass. On Sunday, November 12, fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward will contest the Grade 3, $300,000 Long Island going 11 furlongs over the grass while 3-year-olds and upward will line up for the listed $150,000 Artie Schiller – a one-mile turf test.
Stakes action resumes on Friday, November 17 with a pair of turf stakes, including the $150,000 Autumn Days for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going six furlongs and the $120,000 Tepin for juvenile fillies traveling one mile.
The following day will see an action packed program of four stakes events, including the Grade 2, $250,000 Hill Prince for sophomores going nine furlongs on the turf which was previously run during the Belmont fall meet. The day also features the listed $150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship for 3-year-olds and upward going six furlongs, as well as a pair of six-furlong main track stakes for New York-bred juveniles in the $100,000 Key Cents for fillies and the $100,000 Notebook.
Sunday, November 19 will feature a pair of turf stakes in the $120,000 Central Park for juveniles traveling one mile, as well as the $150,000 Forever Together for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going 1 1/16 miles.
Thanksgiving weekend will feature a pair of Grade 3 events carrying a $200,000 purse in the Fall Highweight Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward going six furlongs on Friday, November 24 and the Comely for sophomore fillies going nine furlongs on Saturday, November 25.
The popular New York Stallion Stakes Series (NYSSS), open to progeny of eligible New York sires, returns to the Big A with four divisions offered this December. Sunday, December 3 will feature the $125,000 NYSSS Thunder Rumble for 3-year-olds and up sprinting seven furlongs on the main track, as well as the $125,000 NYSSS Staten Island for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at the same distance.
Saturday, December 9 will feature the $120,000 Garland of Roses for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going six furlongs. The NYSSS returns for a pair of $500,000 stakes for juveniles on Saturday, December 16 with a lucrative card that will see eligible New York-sired fillies contest the NYSSS Fifth Avenue at seven furlongs, alongside the NYSSS Great White Way going the same distance.
Following a 10-day break from December 18 to December 27, the stakes schedule concludes with the $100,000 Bay Ridge for New York-bred fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going a one-turn mile on Thursday, December 28 one day before the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for 3-year-olds and up at the same distance. Rounding out the yearly stakes action are the listed $150,000 Gravesend for 3-year-olds and upward going six furlongs on Saturday, December 30 and the listed $150,000 Queens County for 3-year-olds and upward going nine furlongs on Sunday, December 31.
For the complete Aqueduct fall meet stakes schedule, please visit NYRA.com.