The New York Racing Association took time out from prepping for Thursday’s Saratoga Meet opener to announce Aqueduct’s stakes schedule for its fall meet.

True Timber-Aqueduct '21 Stakes
True Timber and Kendrick Carmouche won last year’s Cigar Mile. Aqueduct’s featured race during its Fall Meet is the lone Grade 1 race among its 26 stakes events. (Image: Susie Raisher/NYRA)

Aqueduct’s 18-day fall meet offers 26 stakes races – 10 of those graded – along with $4.9 million in purses. That meet begins Friday, Nov. 5 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 5.

Headlining Big A’s fall meet – as it always does – is the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap, one of the biggest late-season races for 3-year-olds and up. The Cigar Mile highlights Aqueduct’s biggest day: Saturday, Dec. 4, which features four of the meet’s 10 graded stakes events.

The Cigar Mile undercard offers the Grade 2 Remsen, an early Kentucky Derby prep race that sends its 2-year-olds 1 1/8 miles in the quest for 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points. Also on the Dec. 4 slate is the Remsen’s filly counterpart, the Grade 2 Demoiselle. That race offers 10-4-2-1 qualifying points toward the 2022 Kentucky Oaks.

The Grade 3 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares 3-and-up rounds out the day’s stakes schedule.

Aqueduct’s Red Smith Handicap gets an upgrade

Aqueduct’s first graded stakes race is the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap, which sends its 3-and-up fillies and mares 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Grade 3 Nashua, a mile race for juveniles, runs the same day.

The Big A’s other stakes races include the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap, which was upgraded from Grade 3 in last year’s grading review. That 1 3/8-mile Nov. 21 race for older males anchors that weekend’s card, which includes the Grade 3 Long Island. That race for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares sends its contestants 1 ½ miles on the Aqueduct Turf.

Aqueduct Key 2021 Fall Meet Stakes Races

Race Grade Distance Eligible Horses
Nov. 6 Turnback the Alarm Handicap 3 1 1/8 miles 3-year-old+ fillies and mares
Nov. 6 Nashua 3 1 mile 2-year-old mares
Nov. 20 Red Smith Handicap 2 1 3/8 miles 3-year-old+ fillies and mares
Nov. 20 Long Island 3 1 1/2 miles (turf) 3-year-old+ fillies and mares
Nov. 28 Fall Highweight Handicap 3 6 furlongs 3-year-old+
Dec. 4 Cigar Mile 1 1 mile 3-year-old+
Dec. 4 Remsen 2 1 1/8 miles 2-year-old
Dec. 4 Demoiselle 2 1 1/8 miles 2-year-old fillies
Dec. 4 Go For Wand 3 1 mile 3-year-old+ fillies and mares

The Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap headlines Thanksgiving weekend. That six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old and up males is Sunday, Nov. 28.

The Aqueduct Winter Meet begins Thursday, Dec. 9, four days after the fall meet ends. That offers seven listed or New York-bred stakes races that run through the end of the year.