Located in the South Ozone Park and Jamaica neighborhoods of Queens in New York City, Aqueduct Racetrack offers live and simulcast thoroughbred horse racing. The site features three different racetracks. The main dirt track has a distance of 1 1/8 miles. On the inside of the main track are a one mile turf course, and an inner dirt course that measures 7 furlongs.
The track has seating capacity of 17,000 and total capacity of 40,000. It originally opened on September 27th, 1894. Aqueduct is also home to the headquarters for the New York Racing Association. The track gets its unique name from the fact that it was constructed not far from the site of a former conduit of the Brooklyn Waterworks that delivered water to New York City from the vast Hempstead Plain.
The track was closed in 1956 and underwent $34.5 million of renovations over the course of three years, reopening in 1959 with a grand ceremony that saw New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller help relaunch Aqueduct, dubbed The Big A. Designed by the renowned track architects Arthur Froehlich and Associates of Beverly Hills, California, the remodeled track was state-of-the-art for its day, from the 18 escalators and elevator to 20,000 seats and another 14,000 in air-conditioned restaurants and lounges. The Associated Press called it “the world’s most modern and luxurious horse plant.”
When similar renovations were taking place at Belmont Park, Aqueduct was the host track for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, from 1963-68. On November 6, 1973, Secretariat was retired at the track. With his regular jockey Ron Turcotte up, the 1973 Triple Crown winner paraded before 30,000 fans before leaving racing for his new life at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky. And on October 6, 1995 a day fortified by brilliant sunshine and a cloudless blue sky, Pope John Paul II said mass before a crowd of 75,000 at Aqueduct.
On October 11, 1981 Aqueduct unveiled one of the largest restaurants in New York City, the multi-tiered Equestris. Two decades later, the Big A underwent perhaps its most sweeping change with the opening of the multi-level, 415,000-square-foot Resorts World Casino New York City.
Operated by Genting New York LLC, the casino, which occupies the former grandstand, opened in October 2011. The massive facility features over 4,400 slot machines and 1,300 table games. A $400 million renovation that opened in 2021 includes a Hyatt Regency hotel, expanded gaming areas and new dining outlets.
Aqueduct Racetrack is licenced by the Schenectady-based New York State Gaming Commission.
Major Horse Betting Events at the Venue
Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial Stakes has long been viewed as one of the key prep races for the Triple Crown, with the majority of winners going on a month later to race in the Kentucky Derby. Four Triple Crown winners were also Wood Memorial champions: Seattle Slew (1977), Assault (1946), Count Fleet (1943) and Gallant Fox (1930).
While 11 Wood Memorial winners have gone on to capture the Kentucky Derby, several other thoroughbreds have done the opposite: failing to take the Wood and then winning the Derby. Even the mighty Secretariat finished third in the 1973 Wood Memorial.
Aqueduct features two Grade I Stakes events. The Carter Handicap for three-years-old and older is run over a distance of seven furlongs and has been contested since 1895. Originally the NYRA Mile when it launched in 1988, the Cigar Mile Handicap was renamed in 1997 after the legendary horse who won the race in 1994. It’s a one-mile race for horses three and older with a $500,000 purse.
Bet Types Allowed
Types of bets available at Aqueduct Racetrack include win, place, show, across the board, exacta, trifecta and superfecta. Bets with multiple races included are daily double, pick 3, pick 4, pick 5, pick 6 and grand slam.
Horses can be boxed in exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagering, enabling a ticket to cash as a winner no matter the order of finish of the horses that are part of the box.
Parlay betting is also offered at Aqueduct and other NYRA tracks. Players may pick any combination of races from the track to include in their parlay card. Bettors select between 2-6 races. The minimum bet for a parlay is $1.
Winning pari-mutuel tickets from all races conducted at Aqueduct must be presented for payment on or before March 31 of the following year and can be cashed during normal business hours.
Mobile Betting App
With an NYRA Bets account, players who download the NYRA Bets app can wager on races at Aqueduct directly from their mobile device. Beyond Aqueduct, the NYRA Bets app provides wagering opportunities on horse racing from around the world.
The iOS version of the NYRA Bets app can be downloaded from the App Store. A link to access download for an Android device is available directly from the NYRA Bets web page.
At NYRA Bets, they offer new players a 100 percent matching first deposit bonus worth up to a maximum of $200. NYRA Bets also offers a rewards program providing points for every wager played.
NYRA Bets offers handicapping challenges to feed the race player’s competitive edge nearly every week. NYRA handicapping challenges are conducted online only exclusively through NYRA Bets. Pre-registration is required for these live money handicapping contests.
The contest includes Aqueduct races (at least five races of the player’s choice). Follow along with the races on America’s Day at the Races while keeping track of the leaderboard standings on NYRA Bets. After the contest, a player’s bankroll and prize winnings are shifted back into their NYRA Bets account to start betting or to withdraw.
The Empire 6 wager features a mandatory payout. The Empire 6 wager requires bettors to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the Aqueduct card. The full pool, minus the takeout, will be distributed to bettors who select the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races on the card. All it takes to enter is a $0.20 minimum bet.