110-00 Rockaway Blvd., South Ozone Park
With the distinction of being the only horse racetrack in New York City, South Ozone Park’s Aqueduct Racetrack is a national draw for enthusiasts of the sport. Occupying 210 acres of land in the World’s Borough, the 123-year-old track is the prized jewel of the New York Racing Association.
Every year, it hosts numerous family-friendly events as well as a number of prestigious meets, including the Wood Memorial Stakes, Cigar Mile Handicap, Carter Handicap, Gazelle Stakes and Gotham Stakes. In 1995, the Aqueduct Racetrack hosted His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. The pope celebrated mass in front of 75,000 Catholics from around the country.
The racetrack has become a part of Southeast Queens’ identity, which was made evident when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed selling the property in 2007—a move that was panned almost universally by the community.
In recent years, renovations have continued at the property. In November, the NYRA resurfaced one and 1/8 miles of the main track with a limestone base and converted the inner dirt track into a turf course.