Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

22 January 2011

Tale of the Tape, Saratoga vs. Aqueduct




Note: This format has been ripped off and abused more often than any other form of writing out there. Time to pile on to a stale format!

These two tracks are far apart on the scales of amenities, aesthetics, and many other forms of judging a racing facility. Not to mention that Saratoga is only open for about forty days out of the year compared to the six months that Aqueduct is open. Aqueduct has a less than stellar reputation and Saratoga is put on scale with Wrigley Field and Lambeau Field in terms of “sports cathedrals”. Enough with the hyperbole though, it is time to get down to the brass tax.

Thoroughbred legends with stakes races named after them
Saratoga: Fourstardave
Aqueduct: Evening Attire
Advantage: Push, both are great. Although a conversation involving the two is a refresher from the two horses recently discussed for horse of the year.


Belmont Stakes winners who raced at the respective racetracks following their triumphs
Saratoga: Almost every horse that has won this race in the last 20 years
Aqueduct: Jazil
Advantage: Saratoga, anytime you have Jazil as a trump card in a debate it is an automatic loss.

Marquee Event
Saratoga: Travers Stakes
Aqueduct: Wood Memorial (spring), Cigar Mile (fall)
Advantage: Saratoga, the Travers seems to produce a close finish almost every year. The winner of the Wood usually blows the field out and the Cigar Mile has that Breeders Cup hangover feel.

Crowd size after the feature race
Aqueduct: Still there waiting for the get out race
Saratoga: Nonexistent
Advantage: Aqueduct; say what you will about patrons who attend the racing at Aqueduct, but they are a dedicated bunch.

Loaded racing cards
Aqueduct: Thanksgiving weekend, Gotham stakes day, and Wood Memorial day.
Saratoga: Any given racing card
Advantage: Saratoga, although with the extended meets over the last few years the racing quality has been watered down a bit.

Surrounding neighbors
Aqueduct: Chop shops, dive bars, KFC knockoffs, and an airport
Saratoga: The Whitneys and the Racing Hall of Fame
Advantage: Aqueduct, shockingly enough. Above the chop shops there is an old LIRR right of way that connected Rockaway to Queens Boulevard.

Usual patrons
Aqueduct: Taxi cab drivers, construction workers, and trainers who grind out winners at 8% on a yearly basis
Saratoga: Millionaires well to do trainers, and tourists
Advantage: Aqueduct, their crowd is more entertaining.

Getting to the place from the greater NY metropolitan area
Aqueduct: At the most, hour and a half to two hours by car.
Saratoga: Usually two and a half to three hours depending on your location.
Advantage: Aqueduct, not to mention that NYC transit also is conveniently near by with bus and subway service.

Final Score
4-3 Aqueduct, with a big closing kick. Saratoga has its charms, but it wears off fast with peak hotel rates for that area, travel time, and grinding out tough cards throughout the meet. I’m sure I’ll catch flak for posting this, oh well.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on Aqueduct over Saratoga. The reason why there aren't any comments is that those that agree are cut from an old cloth. I'm talking major old school hoprseplayers that likely can not use a computer or even a microwave oven for that matter. However the Big-A lovers are out there.

Anonymous said...

Chances you where you get your program stolen even though your coat is hanging on the back of your seat -

Aqueduct -(Rikers East)

Matt Alhaarth said...

I agree with yourself and the previous commenter - Aquaduct over Saratoga any day for me.

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