Aqueduct Racecourse: A Glorious Horse Racing Tradition
Aqueduct racecourse in Jamaica, New York is considered to be one of the nation's top thoroughbred racing facilities. It is a massive complex that features 2 dirt tracks and a turf track.
Observers have said that Aqueduct racecourse's physical layout and size evokes memories of a glorious past, an era when horse racing was considered a sport of royalty, and a day at the races is a day when members of high society come out in their Sunday best.
Aqueduct Racecourse History
Aqueduct racecourse got its name from the southwestern Queens neighborhood of South Woodhaven where a conduit for the Brooklyn Water Works was built in the 1850s. Aqueduct racecourse originally opened in the nearby South Ozone Park on September 27, 1894 on land leased from descendants of the area's original Dutch settlers. New track offices and a clubhouse were built in 1941. The track was torn down in 1956 to give way to a $33 million racetrack that was opened in 1959. By 1960, Aqueduct had become one of the nation's leading horse racing track. The inner turf course was constructed in 1975 to facilitate winter racing.
Major Stakes and Races at Aqueduct Racecourse
So prominent is the status of Aqueduct racecourse in New York's horse racing scene that many stakes and races with purses in the lower to mid $100,000s are held there. Among them are:
- The Aqueduct Handicap
- The Whirlaway
- The Wood Memorial
- The Athenia
- The New York Stallion Series
- The Long Island Handicap
- The Stuyvesant
- Red Smith Handicap
- Cigar Mile
- The Remsen Stakes
- The Demoiselle Stakes
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