Opened in 1863, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest sporting venue in the US. Steeped in history and tradition, the annual meeting brings scores of racing fans from all around the country to Saratoga Springs each summer. The racing is of the highest quality with large purses, contentious fields and a bevy of stakes races that make the track the most popular in the country among horse players. Saratoga is often referred to as “the Spa” for its prominent infield gazebo.
Saratoga Race Track Entries
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With at least one stakes race on nearly every racing day, Saratoga boasts depth and quality that is unmatched. Among the many elite races run annually at Saratoga, four grade 1 events stand out for their prestige and tradition: the Travers, the Whitney Handicap, the Alabama Stakes and the Woodward Stakes. Given the popularity of three-year-old racing in the United States, the Travers Stakes has perhaps the biggest following as it attracts stars from the Triple Crown trail and is known as the “Mid-summer Derby.” Run at a mile and a quarter, the Travers has thrice been won by the Kentucky Derby winner since 1990. 2016 winner Arrogate launched his career with the victory and went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Saratoga Race Track Picks
Given the level of competition, pool size and field size at Saratoga, the track offers unparalleled betting value. Known as the “Graveyard of Favorites,” Saratoga is notorious for producing large payouts. With a little information and context, players can better position themselves to capitalize on their investments. In general, early speed plays better at Saratoga than it does at Belmont or the main track at Aqueduct. The races often produce swift early fractions and leave dead-closing types with too much to do in the stretch. The track is deeper than most west coast strips and more tiring than tracks such as Gulfstream, Churchill Downs and Keeneland. The Saratoga grass can be objectively labeled as a fair surface with few biases.
As par for the course with New York tracks, the Pick 4 and Pick 6 are the most popular bets at Saratoga, but there is plenty of money to be made in the exacta, trifecta and superfecta pools. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the sheer quality of competition often results in general win odds. Simply put, Saratoga is one of the few tracks in the country where a player can routinely find a horse at 4/1 or higher that have solid handicapping merit.
Saratoga Race Track Results
Given Saratoga’s reputation for chewing up favorites, it came as little surprise that even 2015 Triple Crown and eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner American Pharoah tasted his only defeat of the year in the Travers Stakes. Sent to post as the heavy favorite, the Bob Baffert trainee was dogged around the final turn by Frosted. The champ was able to put away that rival, but found himself leg weary with an eighth of a mile to run. 14/1 longshot Keen Ice was able to ease past American Pharoah in the final stages, posting a significant upset.