Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Friday, December 29, 2023

After a few stellar weekends, the pre-Christmas RTSS reports turned out to be more of a “coal in the stocking” experience. We’ll attempt to rebound while staying in the sunny climates and make your New Year’s weekend a little brighter.

FAIR GROUNDS

RACE 1. State-Bred Maiden Claimer $10,000. 5.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Brielle Evangeline (3-1).

Reason: This filly didn’t make it to the races until she was a 4-year-old. In all three starts her stretch fades have been brutal, even when closing from far off the pace. She returns from a long layoff and plunges in class. None of that looks encouraging.

BETS

#7 Hot Golden Girl (6-1). This front-running filly cuts back in distance while dropping to this level for the first time. Her natural speed should have her in a good spot to pull an upset.

#8 Carolina Jacy (7-2). She’s lightly raced and has never lost at this level or lower. The drop from MSW company should  help.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses.

RACE 7. Maiden Special Weights. 5.5 Furlongs. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #1 Berlaine (7-2).

Reason: Brad Cox horses are winning at a 33% clip at this meet, but this filly looks like a problem child. In her two races, both on dirt, she showed no early speed or late kick. Cox trained her mostly on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park, but the slow works there mirror the lackluster dirt races.

BETS

#7 Lightning Myqueen (6-1). She finished second in a 12-horse field at Churchill Downs in her debut. Mark Casse adds Lasix for the money run.

#11 Fleet Frost. (20-1). She showed early speed in both of her starts.  After fading badly at a mile and a sixteenth, she gets Lasix, blinkers, a sharp workout, a cutback in distance and a positive rider switch. That’s a lot of positive moves for a 20-1 shot.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

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

GULFSTREAM PARK

RACE 1. Maiden Claimer $12,500. 6 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #8 Cheru (9-5).

Reason: Elizabeth Dobles claimed this filly for $25,000. The prior trainer seemed convinced that Cheru performed best at a mile or longer. Her lack of early speed in her past three races (and earlier sprints) confirms this. Gulfstream bettors agreed, refusing to bet her down to favoritism when she dropped to this level from MSW company at Monmouth. The frequent layoff lines in her chart and two failures at this level add to the case that she’s a shaky favorite in this event.

BETS

#1 Ritamarley (4-1). With just two starts, both on turf, she displays early (route) speed and an impressive late (sprint) kick. She gets a reasonable class drop and a highly capable rider for her Florida unveiling. The speed figure in her most recent comes up light, but if you treated that route attempt as a sprint, her 1:12.1 half time might earn a higher number. We most likely haven’t seen her best effort yet.

#6 A J’s Memory (8-1). Throwing out #5 Image of Curlin was a tough call, but we can’t pass up the top recent speed figure when odds of 8-1 are attached. Clearly, the turf route last time was just a conditioner in her first try for the new trainer.

If either of our top two selections get scratched, we’ll include Image of Curlin, who rallied impressively at this level in her debut.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #6 A J’s Memory (8-1), 76
  • #5 Image of Curlin (5-2), 72
  • #1 Ritamarley (4-1), 64

RACE 10. Claiming $6,250 N3L. 7 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #6 Rod Two Rod (7-5).

Reason: This 4-year-old gelding fits the Falling Knife and Piper’s Fife categories of false favorites as detailed in The Punter’s Tale. He takes a 50% fall from $12,500 to $6,250, AND he’ll lure bettors into backing him based on his dominating win two races ago at that $12,500 level. The class drop sure seems negative, especially since he was claimed for $12,500 and the drop occurs after a layoff.

BETS

#2 Major King (6-1). Claimed in three consecutive races at this level, he has failed to produce a win. Jose D’Angelo gave him a brief freshening and now looks to pad his 25% win proficiency first time off a claim. Luis Saez takes the mount on a horse who has finished second in three of his past four tries at this distance and regularly posts speed figures in the 79 to 81 range.

#7 Capturethelaughter (5-1). Trainer Victor Barboza hits at 29% with horses returning off of a win. This dude blew away the $6,250 N2L crowd when racing at a mile. The small step up seems quite manageable.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #2 Major King (6-1), 81
  • #9 Double Play King (7-2), 81
  • #7 Capturethelaughter (5-1), 80