Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

22 July 2010

Five things to look forward to this year at Saratoga

The 2010 Saratoga meet starts tomorrow and as always is the case with this meet, there is a lot to look forward to. These are five things in particular to look forward to.

5. Hope Springs Eternal

Two year olds and Saratoga are synonymous, this is the place that owners want to debut their fashionably bred juvenile. Last year showcased wins by Dublin, Hot Dixie Chick, Aikenite, D'Funnybone, Discreetly Mine, Devil May Care, Interactif, and Stately Victor. Much like the old Mets advertisement would say, "Catch A Rising Star", if you follow the Saratoga meet you are bound to see some good prospects perform.

4. Location Location Location

Saratoga is one of the few places remaining where horse racing is the lead topic in the press. Compared to Belmont or Aqueduct where the coverage is minimal and the stories coming out of the press room are mostly about scandal is a nice change up. The two daily newspapers dedicate a whole back page to the Saratoga racing instead of just the entries and selections. You also see young people attend the Saratoga meet as well, it gives hope that there could be a new generation of racing fans out there.

3. Parimutuel Competition

Instead of dealing with the downstate tracks that have betting pools mostly infested with sharks and whales, the Saratoga crowd attracts the casual bettor and the vacationers which levels out the playing field and offers great betting value to the informed handicapper.

2. Travers Stakes Day

This day is the turning point in the racing season, this is the last three year old stakes race of any importance before they are forced to take on the older horses in the fall championship races. Unfortunately the Belmont winner bowed out early with injury, but that leaves the winners of the other two classics, First Dude, Ice Box, and Fly Down. A win by Ice Box, Lookin At Lucky, or Super Saver in this race could wrap up the three year old title.

Travers day is the highlight of the forty day meet, last year had the King's Bishop, Ballerina, Victory Ride, and Ballston Spa as the supporting stakes races. The 2009 Travers under card also featured the maiden win of multiple stakes winning filly Devil May Care, who is racing on opening weekend in the CCA Oaks.

1. Closing Weekend

A strange way to close out the list (which by the way is the crutch of a bad journalist), but for the last few years the closing weekend has featured some really good horses debuting or sealing up their championship campaigns. In 2007 Big Brown demolished a field of maidens on turf, Midnight Lute ran like a monster in the Forego en route to sprint championship honors, and Lawyer Ron clinched older male championship honors with a win in the Woodward. In 2008 Curlin won the Woodward and went on to Horse of the Year honors. Last year on the same day Stately Victor broke his maiden, Rachel Alexandra fought off all challengers to win the Woodward, and the Forego had an incredible stretch run by Pyro to defeat sprint champion Kodiak Kowboy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great points and so true. People who don't follow horse racing still know of Saratoga and have usually gone there.