Aqueduct Racetrack opened its doors to the public on September 27, 1894, on a prime property owned by the former Brooklyn Water Works that housed a channel that delivered water to New York City from the huge Hempstead Plain. Also referred to as the Big A, Aqueduct Racecourse is the only sporting infrastructure in New York City, sitting on over 210 acres in South Ozone Park in the legendary borough of Queens. Located just 8 miles away from its sister course, Belmont Park, the facility is close to John F. Kennedy International Airport, the leading international passenger entryway in the United States.
Over the past years, the Big A has been the great scene of certain landmark sporting events that include the only triple dead-heat in the stakes history when Brownie, Wait, and Bossuet eminently hit the wire as one during the Carter Handicap on June 10, 1944. Other noteworthy racing luminaries such as Man o’ War, Kelso, Sword Dancer, Secretariat, Buckpasser, the celebrated Dr. Fager, Easy Goer, Forego, and Smarty Jones pioneered their legendary careers at Aqueduct. As a result of these greats, the equestrian racing amenity has enjoyed extensive fame across the world over the past few years. It also explains why the sporting arena attracts thousands of electrified fans when hosting key racing functions.
Between1955-59, Aqueduct was redeveloped at a huge cost of an estimated $34.5 million. With a freshly built grandstand, a well-chosen racing strip, excellent barns, and additional premises, the revamped Aqueduct opened again on September 14, 1959, to an enchanted crowd of 42,473 and thousands of rave reviews as the most state-of-the-art racing amenity in the continent. About 1963-68, throughout the modernization of Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racecourse was the principal location of the popular Belmont Stakes.
In mid-1975, Aqueduct Racecourse launched its advanced winterized, one-mile inner dirt racetrack on the initial location of the inner turf track, and on October 11, 1981, it showcased one of the biggest dining and accommodation facilities in New York City, the internationally top-rated multi-tier Equestris. Sometime between 1985 and 1989, the sporting amenity underwent two extra rounds of modern improvements that saw the building of well-stocked mini-theatres, the growth of the backyard, as well as paddock and grandstand and setting up of a weather-insulated additional paddock.
In 2011, Aqueduct began its most far-reaching transformation with the establishment of the multi-tiered, 415,000 square foot betting facility, the world-famous Resorts World Casino New York City, managed by Genting New York LLC. The well-furnished casino, which sits on the venue the initial grandstand, launched its operations in October 2011, and extended to an additional floor in mid-December, with well over 5,000 VLTs and ETGs.
A leading catering and hospitality center, Aqueduct is not only famed for its top-notch horse racing services but also for providing excellent dining and accommodation facilities. Again, the world-class amenity is committed to giving back to the community. As part of Aqueduct’s corporate social responsibility, the racecourse supports charitable causes such as the Belmont Child Care Association. While this munificent undertaking seeks to help the needy and vulnerable, it is also geared toward providing certain benefits to its staffers and their families as well.