03/02/2012 12:52PM

Finger Lakes restores nine stakes


Nine stakes that had to be sacrificed when Finger Lakes lost $700,000 in purse supplements from the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and Development Fund have been restored for the 2012 season.

The western New York state track announced a 13-event stakes schedule earlier this week with an estimated total value of $1.05 million, thanks the restoration of the funds that were unavailable in 2011. All of the added-money events are restricted to New York-breds.

As usual, the season’s highlights will be the $200,000 New York Breeders’ Futurity on Sept. 29 and the 40th running of the $150,000 New York Derby on July 21. The 1 1/16-mile derby remains the second leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-bred 3-year-olds, a series that begins with the Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park in late June and concludes with the Albany at Saratoga in late August.

Finger Lakes will launch its 50th anniversary season on April 20 and race 163 days through Dec. 7. The season will begin with a four-day live racing schedule (Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday) before moving to a five-day week with the addition of Thursday racing May 10. First post time will be 12:35 p.m. Eastern on Fridays and 1:10 p.m. all other days through Nov. 2, when the first post shifts to 12:15 p.m. with the advent of Eastern Standard Time.