Saratoga 2019


EOG Senior Member
Saratoga starts earlier this year as the number of racing days stays at 40, but the number of days per week drops from 6 to 5. The meet will be 8 weeks long and starts before Del Mar so that the 40 days of racing can be completed by Labor Day, which is Monday September 2nd this year. The first week has 4 days of racing starting tomorrow and the last week 6, with the other 6 weeks having 5 days of racing Wednesday through Sunday.

Unfortunately, thunderstorms are in the forecast for Thursday afternoon which could lead to many races being taken off the turf and large amounts of subsequent scratches reducing field sizes substantially.

Heres hoping there are many dry days in upstate New York resulting in turf races staying on the grass. Wishing successful handicapping to all the Saratoga bettors out there.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Andy Serling's Opening Day Selections

Race 1 7 - 2 - 4 - 6

Race 2 TURF 3 - 2 - 12 - 4 DIRT 10 - 3 - 9 - 5

Race 3 1 - 6 - 4 - 3

Race 4 TURF 8 - 2 - 1 - 5 DIRT TBD

Race 5 3 - 9 - 2 - 4

Race 6 TURF 9 - 8 - 1A - 10 DIRT 9

Race 7 TURF 10 - 4 - 5 - 11 DIRT 12 - 10 - 7 - 8

Race 8 1 - 8 - 5 - 2

Race 9 TURF 4 - 1- 10 - 2 DIRT 11 - 6 - 3 - 10

Race 10 TURF 5 - 9 - 7 - 8 DIRT 7 - 13 - 12 - 5

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
The 40-day meet will take place over 54 days.

Over $650 million has been bet at Saratoga in each of the last four seasons.

That's an average of more than $16 million per card.
For the early pick 5:

1) I’m on #4 Hollywood Handsome.. Navarro is deadly off layoffs... 36% with 90+ day layoff and close to 50% on 180+ day layoff. Gives him time to dope the horses up.... also, Hollywood Handsome has by far the most class and dropping to his lowest level of his career. He has also been working out really well... will single in most tickets

2) Sayyaaf should win at a short price shortening to 5.5f. If I try to beat him, it will be with the two outside horses. Declined ran a great race last time out after having a rough trip. Loved how he actually rated for the first time and was making a good move at the end to come up just short. Still debating how to play this in the exotics.. would rather not single a 3/5 fave who lost at the same price last time out.

3) The toughest race of the sequence... could go a bunch of ways. A few horses have some mediocre early speed, but none that consistently go to the lead. Walkoff is interesting cause I feel like he will like the added distance, and has closed so well— just don’t know if he will have any pace to run into. #6Growth Engine is the horse to beat IMO, not Potomac. He’s gotten off to rough starts last two times out, and yet, was still there at the end. Very dangerous if he is able to run his race with no issues. Only worry with me is a big jump in class #7The Rock Says ran his best race last time out in his first race on fast dirt— if he improves off that, he will be right there. #4 Potomac has shown big improvements over the last couple months.... I don’t like when horses are claimed off Rudy though— this will be his 2nd start after being claimed, but the first one was only 5 days later so it might have had the Rudy oats and hay in his system still. Might regret it, but will probably pass cause i think he’s due for a regression. 2,6,7 for me.

4) my best bet in this one is #5 Gosilently. Last race was a throw out being off turf, and before that, ran consistently well on the lead on turf. He’s without a doubt the speed of the race, and last year, speed was dominant in the first few days of the meet. Will single on most tickets... but as a backup, will include the 3 and 10 in other tickets.

5) Aubrey Tate is the horse I like most. Working out well, Norm casse is very capable with first time starters, and Bayern progeny has outran there odds so far... love me tomorrow will be on my tickets- Wesley ward with 2yo are deadly, and hoping that maybe she needed a race. She broke so well, but had nothing left late. Just had a bullet workout- dangerous. ghostghostghost will also be on my ticket... Asmussen/Santana is a deadly combo, and the horse has been working out consistently well.

Will post my pick 5 ticket after scratches are announced
There are some storms about 50 miles away from Saratoga at the moment.

If it goes off turf, I will be playing the 9 heavily in the 2nd and the 6,9,11 in the 4th

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
And they're off at Saratoga...

Armament won the opener in a romp.

Final margin was six-and-a-quarter lengths despite being geared down in the final 40 yards.

Armament broke alertly, won wire-to-wire and never looked like a loser under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Total WPS pool in the opener: $311,000+

Exacta pool: $317,000+

Daily Double pool: $182,000+

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#3 Vincento virtually wire-to-wire in the third race at odds of 10/1.

The 8/5 favorite Potomac attended the early pace but faded to finish fourth.

Track announcer Larry Colmus reported the rain started to fall at Saratoga during the running of the race.

Pools are growing.

WPS pool was $426,000+ while the Exacta Pool was $392,000+.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Thrilling finish in the fourth race.

Neither horse deserved to lose.

#2 Local Hero and #7 Zap Daddy both laid down their bodies in the final furlong.

The winner was Local Hero, the 9/5 favorite.

Zap Daddy won the bob but still lost the photo.

A tough beat at odds of 5/1.

Pacesetter Gosilently tired to finish fifth.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#5 Big Q pulls the upset at odds of 14/1 in today's fifth race.

But the horse to watch is Impazible Donna, who came flying late to finish second beaten less than a length as the 2/1 favorite.

Early Pick 5 pool was $804,500+.

Tremendous handle.

And it should be.

Only a 15% takeout in Saratoga's Pick 5 pools compared to 24% in the Pick 3 and Pick 4 pools.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Another upset at odds of 14/1 in the sixth race.

#8 Light the Posse raced last in the early stages but finished strongest of all to win by Veterans Beach by a long neck.

#10 Analyzethisandthat took big late money (dropped from 6/1 to 7/2 as the gates opened) but broke a half-step slow, hustled up to grab the lead and tired in the stretch drive.

Great call by BP2.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#10 Wegetsdamunny never looked like a loser.

Well-held by jock Joel Rosario in the early stages of the race despite a dawdling pace.

Opening quarter was 25.21 with a second quarter clocked in 26.24.

Stormed home on the far outside as the field fanned across the track at the head of the stretch.

In the early stages of the race, Wegetsdamunny angled quickly from post 10 to the two-path in darting fashion, a telling sign she was going to unleash a big effort today.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
The three favorites dominated the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes.

The second and third choices finished ahead of even-money favorite Shippy, who gave away a tactical advantage by drawing the rail.

Trainer Doug O'Neill scored with Comical by a neck over the Todd Pletcher-trained Kiss the Girl.

O'Neill also trains Shippy.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#4 Listing, under a patient ride from jock Joel Rosario, won the ninth race by a half-length in a strong effort.

Odds dropped from 9/5 to 7/5 in the last flash.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
The tenth and final race was ruined by a slew of scratches.

Thirteen horses were entered to race, but only three horses went postward.

Killed the feel of Opening Day and obviously hurt the handle too.

Possibly the only downside of Saratoga's summer meet is the wet weather.

#12 Dottie's Spirit won the nitecap at even-money.

Three-horse field featured odds of 1/1, 7/5 and 2/1.

Jock Joel Rosario somehow found trouble in a three-horse field after ridiculously-slow fractions of 26.47, 53.83 and 1:19.89.

Late Pick 4 pool was far more impressive than the late Pick 5 pool: $840,000 versus $478,000.

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member

Takeout (percentage of each dollar wagered retained by racetrack)
• 15 percent – Pick 6 (non carryover pools)
• 15 percent – Pick 5
• 16 percent – Win, Place, Show
• 18.5 percent – Exacta, Quinella, Daily Double
• 24 percent – Trifecta, Superfecta, Grand Slam, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 6 (carryover pools)
Heard yesterday that NYRA is trying to get the .20 PICK6 jackpot implemented this year at SARATOGA.

I hate the pk6 jackpots, only play on mandatory payout days....might make for an interesting LABOR Day when TOGA closes.
Yep... Nyra announced it last week.. sometime in this meet. I won’t bet it til mandatory day.. or late in the meet where people are overbetting the whole fields chasing the jackpot. As long as it doesn’t take away from the pick 5 pools, I don’t really care