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11/3 - 12/31


  The Big "A"      

AqueductAqueduct Logo

Aqueduct Race Track, occupies 192 acres in the Borough of Queens, in New York City. It is a one and one eight mile dirt oval, that includes a one mile winterized one mile dirt oval and a seven furlong turf course. The grandstand has an open air seating area for 20,000, with an additional 10,000 seats in the clubhouse, which includes the Equestris Restaurant. The facility has parking for 5,000 cars and stabling for 547 horses, the campus also includes an eleven bed hospital. The highlight of the meet is The Wood Memorial, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

Aqueduct Race Track was the first east coast track to host the Breeders Cup, it's first and only appearance at the Ozone Park oval in 1985. That was the second running of the event.

 In 2011 the first and second levels of the grandstand were converted to a casino, the only such facility in the five Borough's of New York City. Unlike most racino upgrades, Aqueduct's casino consumed all of the grandstands 20,000 or so seats. Not like anyone would use all of them again.      

Aqueduct Race Track was opened in 1894 on the site of the Brooklyn Water Works which could explain the tracks name. The facility was expanded before the 1941 season and was totally renovated between 1956 and 1959. Aqueduct had a purse value of 28 making it one of the premier tracks in racing.

AqueductBus to the Big A

Today Aqueduct is part of NYRA (New York Racing Association) which includes Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. From 1963 to 1967 Belmont's races including the Belmont Stakes were run at Aqueduct while Belmont Park was being upgraded.

 At the end of the 1975 racing season the inner turf course was replaced with an all weather surface so New York racing could be extended to year round. Since 1976 after Thanksgiving up till the Wood Memorial winter racing is conducted at New Yorks blue collar track.

I, myself have only made one trip to Aqueduct, riding the subway on a dark dreary December day. It was in the late nineties and I don't remember much except how empty it seemed but I do remember seeing the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center being lit that evening. That morning I also made my first and only visit to the top of the World Trade Center.