Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Genting to Present $1 Million Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial
The purse for this year’s renamed Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial, Aqueduct Racetrack’s premier race, will increase to $1 million through a presenting sponsorship from Resorts World New York to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), officials from both groups announced today.
“We are honored to be a part of this historic race that has been a staple of Queens for decades,” said Mike Speller, President of Genting New York. “From the beginning, one of our goals in building the new casino facility at Aqueduct has been to strengthen and support New York’s storied horse racing industry. Through this partnership with NYRA, we have taken a significant step in that direction. This year’s Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial is sure to be a spectacular event that will bring out racing enthusiasts and make all of New York proud.”
The Grade 1 Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial, scheduled for Saturday, April 9, serves as the final prep race on the NYRA circuit for the prestigious Triple Crown, comprising the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.
“Resorts World has been a great partner and this sponsorship reflects the depth of their ongoing commitment to New York racing,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the Resorts World New York Casino, a cutting-edge facility that will help create stability for the state’s thoroughbred industry and reinvigorate the community surrounding Aqueduct Racetrack.”
Mentioned as a probable contender for the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial is Queens native Mike Repole’s undefeated Uncle Mo. The 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie won the 2010 Eclipse Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Male and is the current favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
The 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial has long been a springboard to Derby success. Beginning with Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in 1930, 11 Wood winners have gone on to take the Run for the Roses, among them Triple Crown heroes Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Seattle Slew (1977), as well as Twenty Grand (1931), Johnstown (1939), Hoop Jr. (1945), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Bold Forbes (1976), Pleasant Colony (1981) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000). In addition, Secretariat finished third in the 1973 Wood before going on to sweep the Triple Crown, culminating with his incomparable 31-length victory in the Belmont.
Resorts World New York’s Aqueduct redevelopment project – expected to open later in the Summer – will include 4,525 Video Lottery Terminals, two new restaurants, a two-story sports bar and other structural improvements to the area adjacent to the racetrack including a new parking structure, renovations to the existing racetrack facilities and the construction of an enclosed walkway from the MTA subway stop to the casino entrance.
Once fully operational, Resorts World New York is expected to permanently employ about 1,000 workers in the entertainment, hospitality, security and food-service fields.