News and STORIES

The Aqueduct 2020 Fall Meet Features Early Contenders For Next Year's Kentucky Derby Emerge

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday November 12, 2020

The Breeders' Cup has just wrapped up and as a result of the thought and detail that went into the event's planning, the entire two-day event went smoothly.

In what was a stellar weekend, there were major upsets, a wide swathe of winning jockeys, horses, and trainers, and excitement across all the races. Heck, there was even a 73-1 long-shot winner.

On the Aqueduct Fall Meet

As is usually the case, the Aqueduct Fall Meet had to (partly) share the spotlight with the just-concluded Breeders' cup. This is because opening weekend for the meet was November 6, the same day as the BC's "Future Stars Friday". Fortunately, though, the fall meet lasts for much longer and will have 18 racing days, running until December 6. The event will offer 29 stakes and 11 graded events through the course of its duration.

The New York Racing Association, in August, announced the race dates and stakes schedule ahead of the fall season. As expected, the venue will be New York's Aqueduct Racetrack. Surprisingly, however, the total purse has increased this year to $3.41 million.

Among the events that have already taken place are the $100,000 Tempted Stakes for Juvenile Fillies and $80,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes for juvenile turf sprinters (on November 6). the $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) and Nashua Stakes (G3) followed on Sunday, November 8.

The next batch of races is happening this weekend (November 14 and 15) and will feature a host of exciting betting prospects including the $100,000, six-furlong Notebook Stakes for juveniles bred in New York, and the Artie Schiller Stakes for turf milers.

In going with its usual differentiating factor, this year's fall meet once again features mostly turf races, with two grass courses. If you enjoy gambling on the grass, you'd best get in on some of the action as it progresses.

Moving on, there will also be no spectators at this year's event due to the enforced COVID-19 restrictions. As has been the case with other events like the Breeders' Cup, only the jockeys, participants, and other essential personnel have been allowed on the premises so far.

The last races are usually the big headliners at any event and with the fall meet, it's the $250,000 Cigar Mile (G1) on December 5. It also has an undercard featuring Demoiselle (G2) and Remsen (G2) - both being 1 1/8 mile races on the main track.

A Clearer Picture of Potential 2021 Kentucky Derby Challengers

With the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup juvenile events and headliner, the Classic, HRN has released a ranking of the top two-year-old horses ahead of next year's Kentucky Derby.

The undefeated Essential Quality, this week, took the top spot from Jackie's Warrior following the latter's dismal fourth-place finish in the Juvenile last weekend.

The rankings list more than 500 racehorses. Its highlights include six Steve Asmussen-trained colts in the top 40 (including Whiskey Double) and a multitude of stake winners including Dr. Schivel, Winner Get Her Number. Importantly, this list is updated frequently, meaning that it could change drastically, based on racing form, between now and May.