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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 5:19 PM

SARATOGA SHOTS
Previewing The 2017 Meet
Volume 16...Number 1


FOLLOWING THE TOTE AT SARATOGA...GOOD MOVE/BAD MOVE?

The wait is just about over. The forty day Saratoga Meet for 2017 gets under way on Friday, July 21.

Over the course of the next week and a half we are going to take a look at some statistics, some trends and some very solid repetitive standards that both support and just as equally fly in the face of a number of very well-held beliefs on the part of bettors.

There is no better place to begin than to do so with one of the most widely held, often repeated and religiously followed with money through the window than the one which states: WHEN IT COMES TO BETTING JUVENILE MAIDEN RACES, because there are so many first time starters and so little information it is wise to FOLLOW THE MONEY BY FOLLOWING THE TOTE BOARD.

As you will learn below, following that path will lead you down a pot-holed, rutted, mud-soaked and wind-blown path. In other words...when it comes to betting juvenile maiden races...DO NOT FOLLOW THE TOTE!

Last year at Saratoga there were 66 juvenile maiden races.

There were 41 run on the main track and 25 on one of the turf courses.

Of the 66 races, only 20 post time favorites were winners, or just 30.3%. This is hardly supportive information for following the tote. Obviously what many long-time denizens claim as the existence of "smart money" sure doesn't show up in these juvenile maiden races.

There are of course a number of obvious reasons for the difficulty in properly evaluating these young maidens.

*Many barns purposely race their runners up to a certain standard, not wanting those runners to do more than they are capable of doing at that point of their development, which might cause problems later.
*The restriction of certain distances on certain surfaces, such as no 6, or 7 furlong turf races or mile or mile and a sixteenth dirt races means left options for trainers to run to a strength the breeding and workouts might otherwise indicate.
*Primarily, however, there are so many solid barns with good stock that are nonetheless inexperienced, facing each other in any given race.

This is why these juvenile maiden races not only have by far the lowest predictability prospects but are also the most rewarding for those bettors getting involved with the best handicapping methods and angles.

Here are the overall payoff numbers...each of which surpassed the overall payoff averages for all races last year and do so just about every year.

*Overall Average Payoff For All 66 Juvenile Maiden Winners...$14.95
*Overall Average Payoff For The 41 Main Track Juvenile Maiden Winners...$13.40
*Overall Average Payoff For The 25 Turf Juvenile Maiden Winners...$17.45
*In Total There Were 37 Double Digit Payers (56.1%)
*16 Of The 25 Turf Winners Paid Double Digits
*21 Of The 41 Dirt Winners Paid Double Digits
*On The Main Track There Were 15 Of 41 Winning Favorites
*On The Turf Courses There Were 5 Of 25 Winning favorites

There is another statistic from last year that also plays strongly against following the tote board.

From the 46 Favorites which failed to win their Juvenile Maiden Race, here are where they finished.

2nd (9) - 3rd (12) - 4th (9) - 5th (4) - 6th (5) - 7th (2) - 8th (3) - 9th (2)

The next time you hear someone say, "Just follow the tote board," wish them luck and get on with your business.

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