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Aqueduct Racetrack, also commonly known as The Big A, is built on the Brooklyn Water Works property. The original Aqueduct was torn down in 1955 and in 1959 the enormous “Big A” was constructed. Aqueduct is New York City’s only racetrack, one of the most popular tracks across the country, home to the New York Racing Association headquarters and even has its own subway stop. Since opening its doors in 1894, Aqueduct has hosted four Grade 1 sweepstakes, including the $1 million Wood Memorial Stakes, known for being one of the five prep races on the road to the Triple Crown for 3-year-old thoroughbreds.
Located at South Ozone Park in Queens, NY, Aqueduct is considered to be the more conveniently located, “blue-collar” alternative to the more upscale Belmont Park. Admission is free and it doors are open year-round, two key factors which have certainly helped to keep the track in good stead despite the many campaigns to shut it down. Moreover, the opening of New York City’s first casino in October 2011 has helped considerably on the financial end.
There are three tracks at Aqueduct. The Main Course is a dirt track measuring 9 furlongs, the inner course is also dirt and measures 8 furlongs, and then there is a 7 furlong turf course. In winter time, races are held on the heated inner course, which was built in 1975.
Racing Dates: January – June
Max Per Race Payout: US$ 30,000
Main track (dirt): 1 1/8 mile oval
Inner dirt track: 1 mile oval
Turf: 7/8 mile 43 feet, oval