Thanks in part to an ongoing program for two-year-olds offered by the New York Racing Association (NYRA), a total of eight races each worth $100,000 will take place next spring in the run up to the Astoria and Tremont run, which are the first two juvenile stakes races of the year.
The races will be broken down into three trials. Below is the trial schedule for Astoria:
Trial A – 4 1/2 furlongs – April 19
Trial B – 5 furlongs – May 3
Trial C – 5 furlongs – May 17
Trial A will be held at Aqueduct Racetrack and Trial B and Trial C will take place at Belmont Park. All races will be in preparation for the Astoria on June 8.
Trial schedule for Tremont is as follows:
Trial A – 4 1/2 furlongs – April 20
Trial B – 5 furlongs – May 4
Trial C – 5 furlongs – May 18
The Tremont trials will take place at Belmont park, leading up to the Tremont Stakes on June 9.
There are also turf races implemented into the trials thanks to positive response from fans and horseman last year. For fillies, the Astoria Trial D will be five furlongs on turf and will take place on May 25. The Tremont Trial D, also five furlongs and on turf, runs the next day on May 26.
Each trial field is limited to a field of ten, with each winner netting $50,000. All horses will be paid. If each trial fields a full ten the payout will be the aforementioned $50,000 for first, $20,000 for second, $10,000 for third, $7,500 for fourth, $5,000 for fifth, $4,000 for sixth, and the seventh through tenth-place finishers will split the remaining $3,500. There will also be a bonus program for New York-bred trainers and owners.
“A strong 2-year-old program is important to the Aqueduct and Belmont spring meets and the high demand for the bonus program in 2016 shows us that we’re moving our racing program in the right direction,” said NYRA Senior Vice-President of Racing Operations Martin Panza. “It’s one thing to offer races, but it’s another thing to make sure they go. We want our horsemen to feel confident when they send their 2-year-olds to New York in April, May, or June, that we will make every effort to be sure these races are used.”