IVH Video Series 20-Week Review: Keeneland and The Fairgrounds (Weeks 8-11)

We launched the “Instant Value Handicapping” channel on YouTube to prove out methods detailed in The Punter’s Tale (A Bettor’s Quest for Racetrack Profits). The Punter’s Tale describes how to identify false favorites and select horses to bet against them. With the public betting an inordinate amount of money on a horse likely to lose, value is instantly created on other contenders.

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We expect to see a false-favorite failure rate of 75% or higher. By making two-horse bets (or one Win/Place bet as described in the following steps) against these false favorites, we’re shooting for a win rate of 50% or higher.

Living up to our name, LazyBettorUSA, we’ve kept the wagering strategy simple for the “Instant Value Handicapping” video series:

  1. Examine morning-line favorites at a particular track.
  2. Bet only on races containing a false favorite.
  3. Bet two horses, using a hypothetical $100 bankroll for each race. Dutch the bets in $10 increments to get nearly the same return regardless of which horse wins.
  4. Assuming a long-term 50% win rate, accept odds of 8-5 or higher. If the odds on one horse drop below 8-5, treat that horse as a legitimate favorite and don’t bet against it. Instead, bet only on that horse, using $40 Win/$60 Place as your standard wager to assure a 50% or higher hit rate.
  5. If the morning-line false favorite is scratched and you haven’t selected the new favorite as one of your alternatives, assume that horse is a false favorite and continue with your wager as described in the steps above.
  6. For the “Strongest Favorite of the Day” Place bet strategy, wager $100 to Place on the strongest favorite on the card.
  7. Cancel all bets for turf races if the race is taken off the turf.

All results posted below use these assumptions.

We looked at Keeneland in Week 11 (on April 3) and The Fairgrounds in Weeks 8 through 10. Our methods failed in their short try at Keeneland, where false favorites beat us in the two races we bet against them.

The Fairgrounds were fertile grounds, though. We identified 6 false favorites over three Saturdays, and all 6 cooperated by losing. We also racked up 66% winners (4 for 6) and a positive ROI.

Overall totals for the two tracks used in weeks 8 through 11 show 50% winners (4 for 8) and an ROI of negative 1.5%. ($800 wagered; $679 returned)

Bet-by-Bet Results for Keeneland


Two false favs identified. Both ended up beating us. Zero winners selected against them.


False morning-line favorite: #1 Flagstaff

Alternatives: #2 Hidden Scroll (off at 2-1), #7 Hog Creek Hustle (off at 4-1)

Bet Strategy: $60 Win #2 Hidden Scroll, $40 Win #7 Hog Creek Hustle

Result: #1 Flagstaff $5.80 win/$3.40 place

Return: $0 ($0 win/$0 place). -$100


False morning-line favorite: #13 Bound For Nowhere

Alternatives: #2 Imprimis (off at 5-2), #5 Turned Aside (off at 13-1)

Bet Strategy: $80 Win #2 Imprimis, $20 Win #5 Turned Aside

Result: #13 Bound For Nowhere $6.60 win/$3.60 place

Return: $0 ($0 win/$0 place). -$100

Win/Loss for Week 11: -$200 (on $200 in wagers)

Bet-by-Bet Results for The Fairgrounds

WEEK 10. SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 2021.

One false fav identified. False favorite lost. One of our selections ran second.


False morning-line favorite: #8 Underpressure, 5-2

Alternatives: #7 Jus Lively (off at 3-2), #9 Relentless Dancer (off at 3-1)

Bet Strategy: $40 Win/$60 Place #7 Jus Lively (2-horse dutch becomes 1 horse Win/Place bet at odds under 8-5.)

Result: Jus Lively $0 win/$3.00 place (Winner #5 Pound for Pound $16.40)

Return: $90 ($0 win/$90 place). -$10

Win/Loss for Week 10: -$10 (on $100 in wagers)


Two false favs identified. Both went down to defeat. Two winners selected against them.


False morning-line favorite: #1 Elle M’a Souri, 3-1

Alternatives: #2 Peter’s Kitten (off at 3-1), #4 Three Flamingos (off at 7-2)

Bet Strategy: $50 Win on #2 Peter’s Kitten, $50 Win on #4 Three Flamingos

Result: #4 Three Flamingos $9.40 win/$4.60 place

Return: $235 ($235 win/$0 place). +$135


False morning-line favorite: #6 Clairiere, 2-1

Alternatives: #4 Travel Column (off at 2-1), #5 Obligatory (off at 7-2)

Bet Strategy: $60 Win on #4 Travel Column, $40 Win on #5 Obligatory

Result: #4 Travel Column $6.20 win/$3.20 place

Return: $186 ($186 win/$0 place). +86

Win/Loss for Week 9: +$221 (on $200 in wagers)


Three false favs identified (excluding race taken off turf). Both false favorites lost. One winner selected against them in two races.


False morning-line favorite: #4 Sensible Myth, 3-1

Alternatives: #2 Zabava (off at 2-1), #8 Strollin the Bayou (3-1)

Bet Strategy: $60 Win on #2 Zabava, $40 Win on #8 Strollin the Bayou

Result: #8 Strollin the Bayou $8.40 win/$4.60 place

Return: $168 ($168 win/$0 place). +$68


False morning-line favorite: #1 Play Unified, 5-2

Alternatives: #3 Sunshine Deelite (off at 6-1), #4 Dr Liz (10-1)

Bet Strategy: $60 Win on #3 Sunshine Deelite, $40 Win #4 Dr Liz

Result: #7 Galaxy Thirtysix wins

Return: $0 ($0 win/$0 place). -$100


False morning-line favorite: #8 Break at Dawn, 7-2

Alternatives: #2 Microcap (off at 3-1), #6 Powder River (off at 6-5)

Bet Strategy: $40 Win/$60 Place #6 Powder River (2-horse dutch becomes 1 horse Win/Place bet at odds under 8-5.)

Result: Microcap wins, $8.00 win/$4.80 place

Return: $0 ($0 win/$0 place). -$100

Win/Loss for Week 8: -$132 (on $300 in wagers)