The racing calendar in New York will return to some normalcy in 2021.
The New York Racing Association announced dates for the meets at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct on Friday, with the Belmont Stakes, Travers and Whitney scheduled for their respective traditional spots.
Opening Day for Saratoga will be Thursday, July 15, to start 40 days of racing, including Whitney Day on Saturday, Aug. 7, and Travers Day on Saturday, Aug. 28.
The bulk of the 153rd Saratoga will run five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday, and will conclude on Labor Day, Sept. 6.
The rest of the Saratoga stakes schedule is to be determined.
With the Kentucky Derby scheduled for May 1, the Belmont will move back to its spot five weeks later, June 5, after the Triple Crown series was substantially disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Live racing is currently being conducted at Aqueduct, where the 2021 winter meet continues through Sunday, March 28. Following the conclusion of the 2021 winter meet, the 11-day spring meet will open on Thursday, April 1 and conclude on Sunday, April 18.
Following the conclusion of the 2021 Aqueduct spring meet, live racing will shift to Belmont Park for a 48-day spring/summer meet.
The 2021 spring/summer meet will run from Thursday April 22 through Sunday, July 11. Live racing will generally be conducted four days per week throughout the spring/summer meet, Thursday-Sunday.
Following the conclusion of the Saratoga meet, live racing will return to Belmont for a 28-day fall meet, which will open on Thursday, Sept. 16 and continue through Sunday, Oct. 31. Live racing will generally be conducted four days per week throughout the fall meet, Thursday-Sunday.
Racing returns to Aqueduct on Friday, Nov. 5 for an 18-day fall meet that will run through Sunday, Dec. 5. The Aqueduct winter meet will then begin on Thursday, Dec. 9 with the 2021 schedule to conclude on Dec. 31.
To mitigate risk and reduce the spread of COVID-19, New York state currently requires all racetracks to operate without spectators in attendance and with a series of health and safety guidelines in place. A limited number of owners licensed by the state are currently permitted to attend live racing on the day their horse is entered.