Aqueduct opened on September 27, 1894, on 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 Racetrack 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.
In 2013, Aqueduct will run a 71-day Winter/Spring Meet from January 1–April 21 and a 39-day Fall Meet from November 1–December 31. The biggest race of the Winter/Spring Meet is the Grade I $1 million Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial, which will be run on April 6. The nine-furlong Wood Memorial for 3-year-olds is New York’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby.
The biggest race of the Fall Meet is the Grade I Cigar Mile for 3-year-olds and up on November 23.
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, 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.
On October 28, 2011, Genting's Resorts World Casino New York City opened its doors. The casino features 5,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs), two fine restaurants and extensive food courts and buffet options.