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Aqueduct contests maiden race Monday at incorrect distance

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The first race of Monday’s Belmont at the Big A card, a juvenile maiden dirt sprint listed at 5 1/2 furlongs, was run at five furlongs instead.

The race was published at 5 1/2 furlongs, though the diagram in the program displayed a five-furlong disance. The discrepancy in race distance previously was reported by David Grening of Daily Racing Form in a post to X.

Click here for Belmont at Aqueduct entries and results.

Patrick McKenna, vice president of communications for the New York Racing Association, said in a statement that the race was run at the incorrect distance because of an error in the program diagram.

“The race was written at 5 1/2 furlongs for 2-year-old maidens, however due to an outside-vendor issue the corresponding race graphic in the program portrayed a five-furlong race. The race was subsequently run at five furlongs with War Tax (No. 2, $6.90) winning with Jose Gomez up for trainer Carlos Martin.

“This is a highly unusual scenario and despite the correct distance being written in the program, on the overnight and across wagering platforms, the race was unfortunately contested at the incorrect distance. NYRA will review its protocols to ensure this scenario does not present itself again.”

A distance of 5 1/2 furlongs was published in the overnight for Sunday, where this race was published as an extra for Monday’s card. 5 1/2 furlongs was the distance listed in Monday’s overnight, the Equibase entry listing, and the chyron on the simulcast feed as the race was starting. “America’s Day at the Races” and the NYRA simulcast feed posted the correct five-furlong time of 58:37 seconds but did not discuss the discrepancy.

On Equibase, a change in distance from 5 1/2 furlongs to five furlongs was published at 1:21 p.m. EDT, 14 minutes after the post time listed on the chart. The distance on the chart is listed as “five furlongs on the dirt – originally scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt.”

Despite the discrepancy, no change was made to wagering on the race. McKenna confirmed to Horse Racing Nation via email that “the race was declared official and has been paid out.”

Bettors also were facing races being taken off the grass after the Pick 6 sequence started. Aqueduct went into a rain delay after the fourth race, when a deluge began. Two races in the Pick 6 sequence, which began with the fourth race, were taken off the turf as well. The Pick 6 had $230,327 in the pool. According to a post on X from NYRA racing analyst Andy Serling, the racing moving to turf after the sequence began means that there will be no carryover. The $44,201 carryover after Sunday’s card will instead move to the next racing day, Thursday.

After the rain, the dirt was rated sloppy and sealed. The sixth race at Aqueduct was set to be run at six furlongs on dirt and the seventh to cover a mile on dirt. Late Pick 5 bettors were able to bet based on the sixth and seventh races running on dirt because that sequence began with the fifth race, run after the rain delay.

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