Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Friday, December 8, 2023

Well that was quite a streak over two weeks. Our 9 for 9 run of correctly identifying false favorites ended on Saturday.  The favs bit back, taking 2 of the 3 races covered. Time to start a new winning streak!


RACE 1. Maiden Special Weights. 1 Mile and 1/8th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #6 Eliminate (2-1).

Reason: It’s easy to see why this Curlin colt didn’t ship to Florida with Pletcher’s “A” team. In two career starts he has shown no early speed and no closing kick. He’s a plodder who might be helped by the extra distance, but his running style and performances to date establish him as undeserving of favoritism.


#1 Reasoned Analysis (3-1). The son of Upstart lost all chance in his debut when bumped at the start. Manny Franco, who rode Chad Brown’s other entrant in his debut, chooses to ride this Brown runner. The pedigree is modest, but his persistence in his debut suggests he’ll like the stretch out.

#3 Speed Runner (7-2). His name appears fitting in this field of runners who’ve displayed little early speed. He logged a few blazing workouts in September prior to debuting at 2-1, and it looks like Pletcher has been prepping him to stretch out since then.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses.

RACE 3. State-Bred Claiming $25,000. 6 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #3 Fontanafredda (5-2).

Reason: When Michael Maker claimed this filly for $45,000, his plan probably wasn’t to bring her back in three months and win at the $25,000 level. Maybe she prevails at this level, but you might have to accept less than 2-1 on that shaky proposition.


#1 Sue Ellen Mishkin (3-1). She fits one of Mark Cramer’s favorite angles: Claimed while rising in class. She also has two wins in her past three races, and her raw 6-furlong times are about the best in this field.

#5 Meraviglioso (5-1). She makes a much-needed and long-overdue return to a state-bred claimer. The high-level run last time out was certainly intended as a prep. She was likely claimed with state-bred claimers like this one in mind. Here’s her first shot at it for her new trainer.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #4 Liberty Flame (6-1), 84
  • #5 Meraviglioso (5-1), 84
  • #1 Sue Ellen Mishkin (3-1), 83


RACE 3. State-Bred Claiming $12,500 N4L/N2Y on Turf. 7.5 Furlongs. Turf (Analysis for turf only)

False Favorite: #2 Afleet Ascent (3-1).

Reason: This 8-year-old gelding owns a 1-for-12 record at the distance and is 0 for 8 at the Fair Grounds. More importantly, his two wins this year came at lower levels. It’s highly unlikely he’ll finally master this track and distance while competing at this high of a class level and at this age.


#3 City Park (4-1). The drop seems a bit steep considering his last win was against state-bred stakes horses. However, that occurred in 2022, and this 6-year-old definitely can’t compete at that level anymore. Trainer Eduardo Ramirez has solid dirt-to-turf stats and does well with horses second off a layoff. The rider switch to C J McMahon is also a plus.

#10 Knockalittlelouder (6-1). The top speed-figure horse will be gunning for the lead as he moves up in class from the outside post. The workout pattern is superb for this level. The odds might drift up from the morning line given the class raise, surface questions and outside post, but we like having a 6-1 shot controlling the flow.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #10 Knockalittlelouder (6-1), 84
  • #3 City Park (4-1), 83
  • #9 Win Ya Win (6-1), 83