MGM Mirage at Aqueduct Racetrack

Aqueduct Racetrack opened on September 27, 1894 in Queens, New York. The original track was torn down in 1956 and the new facility opened in 1959. In 1975, the inner track was constructed to facilitate winter racing. Aqueduct Racetrack is affectionately called "The Big A" by denizens of the horseracing industry and is widely acknowledged to be among the most important tracks in North America.

In the fall 2005, MGM Mirage began the construction of a $170 million casino on the second floor of the track's grandstand, where 4,500 video lottery terminals will eventually be installed. The racino could become one of the largest in the United States. Aqueduct Racetrack and MGM Mirage officials expect the lottery casino to open in mid-2006.

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Throughout its history, Aqueduct Racetrack has hosted countless stakes races. Among the bigger ones were the New York Stallion Stakes, Aqueduct Handicap, Stymie Handicap, Broadway Handicap and The Count Fleet.

Aqueduct Racetrack Facts

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History of Aqueduct Racetrack

The original Aqueduct Racetrack opened in late September 1894. It was organized as the Queens County Jockey Club by Albany lobbyist Thomas Reilly, Harlem deputy fire department chief Francis Reilly and Brooklyn hotel owner Robert Tucker. They leased land on the site of the present day Aqueduct from the family of the original Dutch settlers.

After Aqueduct Racetrack was finally recognized by The Jockey Club in 1895, track improvements were made. The caliber of racing also improved along with these. Many of the notable stakes races of today such as the Carter Handicap and the Dwyer Stakes, had their origins in this track. The presidency of Phillip Dwyer from 1905 to 1917 saw Aqueduct's emergence as a major racing center. He acquired more land, enlarged the size of the track and completely rebuilt the stands.

In 1955, the old track was torn down and in its place a state-of-the art facility was built. The new mega-facility, costing $33 million, opened in the fall of 1959. Upon its opening for a 66-day meet, all records were broken. The track was referred to as New Aqueduct to distinguish it from the old track.

Big races have been held on the track since then, a testament to Aqueduct's growing stature in the industry. In 1985, Aqueduct Racetrack was host to the prestigious Breeders Cup.

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