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Dec 09, 2011

Aqueduct stakes enhanced from slots monies



Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Revenue generated from Genting's Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct has proved to be the economic engine that was hoped for. The slots have enable the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to increase purses for stakes races during the current winter/spring meet.

Of particular interest is the increased purses of the stakes for three-year- olds on the road to the Kentucky Derby.

"We are very excited to announce this enhanced Aqueduct winter stakes schedule," said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing P. J. Campo.

Aqueduct's premier stakes for three-year-olds, the $1 million Wood Memorial, will be the culmination of a series of races that will all feature higher purses.

"Placing the Withers in early February on a card also featuring the Toboggan and Correction creates another marquee day of racing during the meet," Campo added. "Additionally, with the Gotham's purse increased to $400,000 to go along with the addition of the Withers, our three-year-old stakes program is on par with any track in the country. We are hopeful that our horsemen will respond positively to the new stakes schedule and believe it will generate a lot of interest for our fans."

Leading off the Kentucky Derby prep events will be the $150,000 Count Fleet Stakes on Saturday, January 7. The $200,000 Withers Stakes makes a return to the schedule on Saturday, February 4.

The 1 1/16-mile Gotham Stakes, the last major prep for the Wood, is set for Saturday, March 3. The 2011 Gotham was won by Stay Thirsty who went on to win the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga.

The Wood Memorial, to be run on Saturday, April 7, will be joined on the program by the $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes at seven-furlongs. Three-year-olds will have a final chance for increased purse money on Saturday, April 21 with the running of the $200,000 Jerome Stakes at one-mile.

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