AQUEDUCT RACE TRACK
Aqueduct race track opened on September 27, 1894 in Queens, New York. The
original track was torn down in 1956 and the new facility opened in 1959.
In 1975, the
inner track was constructed to facilitate winter racing. Aqueduct race track
is affectionately called “The Big A” by denizens of the horse
racing industry and is widely acknowledged to be among the most important
Throughout its history, Aqueduct has hosted countless stakes races. Among
the bigger ones were the New York Stallion Stakes, Aqueduct Handicap, Stymie
Handicap, Broadway Handicap and The Count Fleet.
Aqueduct Race Track Facts
Aqueduct Race Track
Ozone Park, New York
The original Aqueduct race track opened in late September 1894. It was organized
as the Queens County Jockey Club by Albany lobbyist Thomas Reilly, Harlem deputy
fire department chief Francis Reilly and Brooklyn hotel owner Robert Tucker.
They leased land on the site of the present day Aqueduct from the family of
the original Dutch settlers.
After Aqueduct race track was finally recognized by The Jockey Club in 1895,
track improvements were made. The caliber of racing also improved along with
these. Many of the notable stakes races of today such as the Carter Handicap
and the Dwyer Stakes, had their origins in this track. The presidency of Phillip
Dwyer from 1905 to 1917 saw Aqueduct’s emergence as a major racing center.
He acquired more land, enlarged the size of the track and completely rebuilt
In 1955, the old track was torn down and in its place a state-of-the art facility
was built. The new mega-facility, costing $33 million, opened in the fall of
1959. Upon its opening for a 66-day meet, all records were broken. The track
was referred to as New Aqueduct to distinguish it from the old track.
Big races have been held on the track since then, a testament to Aqueduct’s
growing stature in the industry. In 1985, Aqueduct race track was host to the
prestigious Breeders Cup.