09/26/2016 1:10PM

Aqueduct to run 29 stakes during fall meet


Anchored by the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, Aqueduct will host 29 stakes – 11 of which are graded – worth $4.85 million during the fall meet, which begins Nov. 4.

The Cigar Mile, scheduled for Nov. 26, has a base purse of $500,000, but Grade 1 winners will run for the winner’s share of a $750,000 purse, and winners of a Breeders’ Cup race would run for the winner’s share of $1 million. These purse bonuses were first put into place in 2013.

The Cigar Mile tops a four-stakes card that also includes the Grade 2, $300,000 Remsen for 2-year-olds; the Grade 2, $300,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies; and the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies.

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The Comely, which in 2014 was worth $400,000, was one of six stakes to have its purse cut by $50,000 from 2015. The Grade 3, $200,000 Red Smith (Nov. 12), Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight (Nov. 24), $100,000 Furlough, $100,000 King’s Swan, and Grade 3, $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap were also cut by $50,000.

The Go For Wand has been moved from the day after Thanksgiving to Dec. 3, which could mean that the main-track portion of Aqueduct’s season will be extended by one week, weather permitting. The race is scheduled to be run as a one-turn mile.

The meet will include two new $125,000 stakes for 3-year-olds on turf – the Gio Ponti for males on Nov. 24 and the Winter Memories for females on Nov. 25.

The Artie Schiller Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on turf, had its purse raised by $50,000 to $150,000. That race is scheduled for Nov. 19.

The Garland of Roses (Dec. 10) and the Queens County (Dec. 17), both scheduled to be run over the inner track, each received a purse increase of $25,000 to $125,000.

The meet begins Nov. 4 with the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua for 2-year-olds going a mile. The Grade 3, $200,000 Tempted for 2-year-old fillies is the following day. The Grade 3, $200,000 Long Island for fillies and mares at 1 1/2 miles on turf closes out opening weekend on Nov. 6.

Three-year-olds get their last chance on this circuit to race against their own age group in the Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery on Nov. 12, the same day as the Red Smith at 1 3/8 miles on turf.