RTSS False-Favorite Report, Friday, January 12, 2024

Our first report of the year continued the excellence in identifying false favorites. With one selected race taken off the turf, RTSS analyzed five races. The only morning-line favorite to beat us was Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby prospect Muth in the San Vicente.

On the downside we failed to produce a winner with our two-horse wagers. One winner emerged from our “Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs” list, paying $24.

To track the ROI for 2024, we’ll use the following assumptions:

$100 bet per race, split between two horses.

  • If the odds on one selected horse fall below 2-1, we’ll bet only the lower-odds horse. Otherwise, we’ll dutch our bets to get a similar return regardless of which horse wins. The only adjustment will be adding an extra $2 wager on the lower-priced selection when there’s a significant odds gap between the two.
  • If one selection is scratched, we’ll replace it with the highest speed figure from the “Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs” list. If that list doesn’t contain a third horse, the entire $100 will be wagered on the sole selection.
  • If the morning-line (false) favorite is scratched, we’ll bet the race anyway. (Because we can’t predict who will be the actual favorite and judge their worthiness, we assume our selections are worthy of favoritism and a y other entrant is not.)

Cumulative results appear at the end of each Friday report. We’ll also separately track our performance in analyzing stakes races for 3-year-olds, which has been a particular strength of ours for the past two years.

On to the selections for Week 2.


RACE 1. State-Bred Maiden Claimer $10,000. 1 Mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Pinchie (7-2).

Reason: This 5-year-old gelding is 0 for 4 at this low level, with his best effort leaving him more than 8 lengths short of victory.


#7 Flash N Class (9-2). The original trainer had high hopes for this son of Goldencents. Dropped to this level last time, he showed signs of life off the layoff. His second start back should produce improvement for a trainer adept at winning with first-time routers.

#8 A G’s Gem (10-1). One of the most lightly raced entrants in the field tries a route for the first time. He got in a pace duel when competing in a sprint last time, so he should be well positioned early.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple debut and lightly raced horses.

RACE 4. Claiming $5,000 N3x. 6 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #1 Stand for Freedom  (9-5).

Reason: Steve Asmussen claimed this runner for $30,000 in October, watched him finish last in his first start off the claim, and then dropped him into a $20,000 claimer in which a claim on him was voided. Together, the voided claim, ensuing layoff and drop to $5,000 likely add up to more disappointment.


#2 Time to Meddle (4-1). This son of excellent Washington-state sprint sire Harbor the Gold cuts back in distance after posting a dominant win at a mile. With a great pedigree for this distance and the top BRIS speed figure, he looks well placed.

#3 Gallant Buck (6-1). He has been burned twice in pace duels at this level.  A change to a more experienced rider might bring about a change in tactics for a horse showing a high degree of competitiveness at this level.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #2 Time to Meddle (4-1), 75
  • #3 Gallant Buck (6-1), 74
  • #5 Lord Dylan (9-2), 73


RACE 7. Maiden Optional Claimer $40,000. 6.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #6 Southern Dream (7-5).

Reason: This runner put together a string of six consecutive races followed by layoffs. He also failed to be in contention at the top if the stretch in all six of those races (at various distances). We’re not convinced that the significant drop from MSW to a semi-claimer is significant enough to make a winning difference.


#5 Hey River (9-5). He was overmatched in a 2-horse duel at this level, finishing well clear of the third-place horse. He has current form, competent connections and a Kentucky pedigree as positive factors.

#7 Top Maverick (6-1). He’s struggled all three times he raced at this level. Because he’s lightly raced, though, he seems like a better prospect to win if the pace and race fall apart late. (We suspect that low post-time odds on Hey River  odds will leave us with that runner as a solo bet.)

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple debut and lightly raced horses.


False Favorites: 5

Losing False Favorites: 4 (80%)

Races Bet: 5

Winners: 0

Total Wagered: $500

Total Return: $0


Races: 2

Horses Bet: 3

Winners: 1

Total Wagered: $200

Total Return: $160