Review of The 2021 Saratoga Meet

Review of The 2021 Saratoga Meet

As expected the the 2021 Saratoga meet did not disappoint.  Actually, it reminded us that horse racing in Saratoga is alive and well.  As reported in the Daily Racing form's post, with a total handle over 800 million dollars and an average daily attendance of 26,000, horse racing is doing well in Saratoga Springs.

Meet and Personal Highlights:

Favorite moment

Jalon Samuel earns his first Saratoga win on August 12th aboard longshot Take It Off.  He went to the lead and never looked back, and the crowds reaction along with his smile in the winner's circle was priceless.

Wow Factor

Trainer Steve Asmussen set the all-time record for most training wins, but more impressively won 5 Graded 1 Stake races at the meet tying Todd Pletcher's 2010 record.

My Best Predictions of the Meet

  1.  Echo Zulu would win on opening day  -- keyed A HUGE 700 DOLLAR PICK 3  and caught her at 4-1 on opening day winning at 5.5 furlongs -- everyone else caught by the next to last day of the meet when she won at 7 furlongs at odds of 3-5.
  2. Prior to the opening of the meet predicted that Kentucky shippers would dominate on the dirt.  And for the first three weeks they did just that! Pletcher and Brown almost shutout through first four days of the meet and Mike Maker was leading trainer until mid-August.
  3. After the first day, I predicted Luis Saez would win the 2021 Saratoga riding title.


Breakout Performance

Trainer Rob Atras was winning at a 30% clip until late in the meet.  He saddled the biggest upset winner in a Stakes race at the meet when his horse Maracuja be trainer Todd Pletcher's Malathaat at odds of 27-1.

Jockey Ricardo Santana, rider of the aforementioned Maracuja for breakout trainer Rob Atras, had a breakout meet with 35 wins and 5 graded stakes wins.   It's great news to hear that Ricardo will continue on the NY circuit.

Best Place for Dinner

It was a tie between Solevo and 15 Church even though it was during the August heatwave both meals did not disappoint.

Best Place for a Taco

Taquero Taco and Donuts on the corner Putnam between the public library and Caroline Street -- by far best Taco and donuts in Saratoga

Best Place for a donut

Taquero Taco and Donuts on the corner Putnam between the public library and Caroline Street -- by far best Taco and donuts in Saratoga -- they do not open until 11am so no morning donuts.


Odds and Ends

This summer I made seven trips through Saratoga in 5 different cars - Mazda, MMW , Ford F 150, Jeep Wrangler, and Nissan Pathfinder.

I stayed in four different hotels:  Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hamption Inn, and Saratoga Hilton -- listed in order of preference, atmosphere, location, and friendliness of staff. Friendliness of staff and atmosphere trumped location.

During my visit to the track, I sat in the

  1. Grandstand, reserved seat
  2. Clubhouse, reserved seat
  3. The Stretch - high-top table
  4. The Stretch - box
  5. Turf Terrace.

Of these places, The Stretch was the most fun at the high-top table

High top table in The Stretch provided a fun, lively atmosphere with a giant screen TV to follow the action
The giant screen in front of the high top seating added to enjoyment and viewing of the races at Saratoga Race Course

and the Turf Terrace on the finish line was the best place to view the races.  A special thanks to Caitlyn Dunne at the people at My Racehorse for helping me procure tickets in The Stretch and the Turf Terrace.

Dining on the Third floor of the Clubhouse in the Turf Terrace at Saratoga Race Course
The tirf Terrace provides an excellent view of the finish line.

Best Bets During 2021 Meet

Maker and Gaffalione win at a price to key two different Pick 3 tickets.
Opening Day Pick 3 with Echo Zulu -- my Play of the Day
Opening Day Pick with Echo Zulu leading it off in Race 5

The first two weeks had my best winning tickets and finished off with a few cheap Pick 4's and Pick 5's.  The Saratoga Meet offered great racing and even better wagering opportunities.  Looking forward to next year.  But, currently looking forward to the Belmont Fall Meet and Breeders' Cup at Del Mar.

So, this is the end for my 2021 Saratoga meets post!  Next week, I make my first visit to Belmont Park.

A Mural on Putnam Street in Saratoga Springs.