Saratoga Stakes Lesson: Be Open-Minded When Betting

Fans at Saratoga Race Course inspect the horses before a race. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Most states that conduct racing also have breeding programs within their borders to help fill their races and daily programs.

You’ll find them in New York, California, Florida, and just about everywhere else in the country, and generally, with the notable exception of Kentucky, horses bred in that state might be weaker than open company and will need to race against fellow state-breds to thrive.

Of course, when the opposite happens and state-breds beat open company there could be a nice betting opportunity down the road.

As an example, let’s take a look at the Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 24, which was a grass stakes restricted to fillies and mares bred in the state of New York.

A quick look at La Moneda’s past performances in that field showed that she owned three straight wins but they were all in allowance races, raising questions about how well she would handle the jump to a stakes race.

Yet in La Moneda’s case, those were not typical allowance races for New York state-breds. Two were open allowance races, meaning horses bred in any state could run in them.

With that mind, La Moneda’s last two races came into a better and more revealing focus. Since they were against open competition that added plenty of glitter to those two victories, and it also told the story of what was about to happen in the Saratoga grass stakes on the eve of the Travers Stakes.

There was not much of a surprise when La Moneda did indeed win the Yaddo. She prevailed by a neck in a tight finish as the 5-2 second choice.

Yet even if she paid only $7.60, La Moneda was nevertheless able to deliver a powerful lesson about the value of being “open” minded about some horses in a state-bred race.

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