Corporate Name: The New York Racing Association, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 90 Jamaica, New York 11417
Street Address: 11000 Rockaway Blvd., South Ozone Park, New York 11417 (click for map)
Telephone: (718) 641-4700
Fax: (718) 659-3509
Aqueduct Racetrack opened on September 27, 1894, on the property that belonged to the old Brooklyn Water Works. The property was home to a conduit that brought water to New York City from the Hempstead Plain. And thus, the name “Aqueduct” was given to one of America’s storied tracks.
Aqueduct is the second oldest of the three tracks on the NYRA circuit and it, along with Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park, is operated by The New York Racing Association, Inc., which in 2008 earned the state franchise to operate these three tracks for another 25 years. Since its inception, NYRA has contributed more than $3 billion in direct tax revenue to the State of New York.
The Big A has long been the scene of some of Thoroughbred racing’s landmark events. It was here on June 10, 1944, that the first and only triple dead heat in a stakes race took place when Brownie, Bossuet and Wait a Bit hit the wire as one in the Carter Handicap. Horses like Man o’ War, Sword Dancer, Kelso, Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Secretariat, Forego, and Easy Goer all built their legends at Aqueduct.
In 1955-59, the Aqueduct was rebuilt at a cost of $34.5 million to make it racing’s state of the art facility. In fact, it cost more than the $30.7 million that would be spent on the “new” Belmont Park, because new stables, accessory buildings and even a new racing strip had to be built. Aqueduct re-opened on September 14, 1959, to a crowd of 42,473.
In 1975, Aqueduct opened its winterized one-mile inner dirt track, and as part of Aqueduct’s 30th-anniversary celebration in the fall of 1989, a new $4 million weather-insulated paddock was unveiled, providing fans with a clear view of the horses as they are being saddled.
In 2016, Aqueduct’s winter meet runs from January 1–March 27. The 19-day spring meet runs from March 31–April 24. The biggest race of the spring season is the Grade I $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial, set for April 9. The fall meeting will run 36 days from November 4–December 31, highlighted by the Grade I Cigar Mile Handicap on November 26.
Officers: Christopher K. Kay, CEO & President; Joseph Lambert, Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel; Lynn LaRocca, Senior Vice President & Chief Experience Officer; David O’Rourke, Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer; Robert Sica, Vice President, Chief Security Officer; Martin Panza, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations; Glen Kozak, Vice President of Facilities & Racing Surfaces; Robert J. Hughes, Chief Information Officer; Stephen Travers, Senior Director, Hospitality, Guest Services & Group Sales; Iris Roberts, Records Access Officer; Jelena Alonso, Controller; Ross Didia, Corporate Treasurer; Min Kim, Director, Internal Audit
Racing Secretary: Dan Eidson
Director, Horsemen’s Relations: Carmen Barrera
Senior Director of TV: Dan Silver
Official Track Photographer: Adam Coglianese
Nearest City: New York City, 12 miles from Times Square to track
Nearest Airport: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), 5 miles from the track
Track Data: Main Course, 11/8-mile oval, sandy loam; 100 feet wide, with 1‑mile chute; length of the stretch, 1,156 feet; inner dirt course, 1 mile; inner turf course, 7 furlongs plus 43 feet with 11/8-mile diagonal chute; stable accommodations: 547 horses, 150 personnel, recreation building, and cafeteria
Minimum Age Admitted: Children under 12 admitted only if under the supervision of a parent or guardian at all times