“We have come a very long way at The Big A. Investing $14 million in capital funds over the course of the past 16 months, we have transformed the very look and feel of Aqueduct Racetrack, and tried to further enhance the experience for our horseplayers and our fans.” With these words, NYRA’s Christopher Kay ushered in Aqueduct ’14-’15. Supposedly, things are better at The Big A – better, that is, for all except the beasts of burden.

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On the third day of this long (six months), cruel (NY winter) meet, horses perished in consecutive races: Summer Sunset in the 2nd and Jesses Giant Dunk – but a van-off on the chart – in the 3rd. For the latter, it was an almost-predictable end.

This was the third time in the past six months that Jesses Giant Dunk had been raced twice in a nine-day span (all on NYRA tracks): 4/10, 4/16 under Linda Rice and Sunrise Stables; 5/16, 5/25 under Randi Persaud and Guyana Rocky; 10/22, 10/31 under Abigail Adsit and Z Squared Stables. Including John Terranova and Jeremiah Englehart, this throwaway horse had five trainers from February to death-day. But at least the Aqueduct barns were “power washed, cleaned and repainted…”