The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA)
Reorganization Board has approved and released the stakes schedules for
Aqueduct Racetrack’s 2013 winter/spring meet and
Park’s 2013 spring/summer meet, with the anticipated calendar for the remainder of the year released pending board approval.
The Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 6 is
the centerpiece of 13 graded stakes worth $3.85 million for the 77-day
meet which begins on January 1.
The Wood is also the culmination of a revamped 3-year-old stakes
program which kicks off on January 5 with the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome,
relocated from the position it has held at the end of the meet in recent
years, and supported also by the Grade 3, $200,000
Withers on February 2 and the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham on March 2.
Sophomore fillies are also granted expanded options in 2013,
with the 1 1/16-mile Busher Stakes, held last year in late February and
worth $75,000, moved to February
2 with the purse boosted to $100,000. On Wood Memorial Day, the Grade
2, $200,000 Gazelle at 1 1/8 miles replaces the Grade 3, one-mile Comely
on the undercard, serving as a suitable prep for the Grade 1 Kentucky
Oaks on Friday, May 3.
The Wood Day undercard also features the return of the Grade 2,
$250,000 Ruffian Handicap at one mile for fillies and mares, along with
the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter
Handicap at seven furlongs for older sprinters, and the seven-furlong,
Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore for 3-year-olds.
Aqueduct’s slate of graded stakes also includes the Grade 3,
$150,000 Toboggan on Saturday, February 2; the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom
Fool Handicap and the Grade 2, $200,000
Top Flight Handicap on Gotham Day, March 2; the Grade 3, $150,000
Excelsior on March 9; and the Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap.
In total, the Big A will offer 16 listed and New York-bred
stakes, beginning New Year’s Day with the $75,000 Interborough and the
The Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 8 is the cornerstone of the 2013
Belmont spring/summer meet, which will run 56 days from April 26 to July 14 with a total of 26 graded stakes worth $8.1 million.
The Belmont Stakes Day undercard is bolstered by four additional
graded stakes: the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan
Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on the turf; the
Grade 1, $500,000 Just a Game for fillies and mares at one mile on the
turf; the Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens at seven furlongs for
3-year-olds; and the Grade 2, $400,000 Truth North Handicap for older
New to the schedule at
is the addition of a spring New York Showcase Day on June 1. Five
existing races for New York-breds (The Kingston, Mount Vernon, Affirmed
Success, Mike Lee and Bouwerie) have been moved
to this special card, and will be joined by two new races, the $100,000
Dancing Renee at seven furlongs for fillies and mares, and the $150,000
Commentator at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up.
Another notable change to the
spring/summer calendar is a date change for the Grade 3, $150,000
Victory Ride, which was moved to June 29, now four weeks ahead of the
Grade 1, $300,000 Prioress at Saratoga Race Course.
The New York Stallion Stakes Cupecoy’s Joy and Spectacular Bid
divisions were also moved, shifting from early June to June 30 to allow
competitors on NYRA’s spring Showcase Day the opportunity to run back.
“We believe the changes made to the Aqueduct winter/spring meet
truly enhance NYRA’s stakes program,” said NYRA Vice President and
Director of Racing P. J. Campo. “With
the Jerome added to the calendar in January, a graded stake for
3-year-olds now exists during every month of the winter meeting, and
sophomore fillies now have a rich, Grade 2 prep for the Oaks in the
relocated Gazelle. The restoration of the Ruffian offers
a great opportunity for filly and mare routers on the East Coast.”
spring/summer meet, New York-breds will have another day to shine,”
Campo continued. “Other schedule changes allow for better spacing. We’re
very pleased with the amendments and hope that
horsemen and fans share our excitement.”
The Aqueduct winter/spring and
spring/summer stakes schedules were approved by the NYRA Reorganization
Board. Stakes schedules for the remainder of the year will be addressed
by the board at a later date and appear in
the attached schedule pending board approval. NYRA’s 2013 race dates
are subject to approval by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
All schedules are subject to change.