Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Friday, December 9, 2022

After correctly challenging the legitimacy of Rich Strike in the Clark, RTSS felled another giant last weekend. In the Cigar Mile, the 3-5 Zandon fully embodied our assessment of his limitations. In both cases we identified the upset winner.

We pursue less celebrated imposters Friday at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.


RACE 1. Maiden Special Weights. 6 furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Improper (7-5).

Reason: Bred to be special, this runner failed to come close to victory in 4 tries at this level. Although MSW company might’ve been tougher in the spring, he comes back after something more than a minor issue sidelined him for over 7 months. His four lifetime starts were all at longer distances, suggesting this might be a trial run to knock off the rust.


#5 Norgay (4-1). Trainer David Jacobsen continues his hot comeback, hitting 30% with horses new to his barn. He finds a soft MSW field for this speedy maiden claimer. Early speed dominates races at this distance on this track, and Norgay looks to be 1 of only 2 early-speed types entered.

#6 Kitten’s Appeal (7-2). The other speedster in the race has been working fast in the mornings after finishing behind MSW horses that came back to win their next starts. His 4-furlong work in :47.0 is faster than the race splits of nearly every horse in this field.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Norgay (4-1), 84
  • #6 Kitten’s Appeal (7-2), 82


RACE 2. Claiming $6,250 N2L. 6.5 furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Strasbourg (8-5).

Reason: This son of Union Rags originally sold for about 90% less than that sire’s average. His maiden win came after a series of class drops and was followed by a train-wreck effort near Aqueduct’s bottom claiming level. The brief freshening must not have been very freshening, because this horse who seems to have started his career with some issues now plunges to Gulfstream’s rock-bottom level.


#6 Gilligan (2-1). After banging his head against a wall at higher levels, this early speedster finally got blinkers and a class drop to an appropriate level. Unfortunately he was overpowered late in that race. He should end up leading again. Can Zayas find a way to stretch that speed a little better?

#7 Fishing for Fun (4-1). A few races ago he returned to the Moubarak barn, where he came closest to breaking this condition and put back-to-back top efforts together. In that sequence he raised his BRIS speed figure from 72 to 78. Moubarak has him fit again, as evidenced by the 71 figure earned while challenging a runaway winner from start to finish. The shortening from a mile to 6.5 furlongs should find him stalking the early leader, with plenty left in the tank for a late surge.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #6 Gilligan (2-1), 79
  • #7 Fishing for Fun (4-1), 78

RACE 6. Claiming $35,000 N2L. 1 mile. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #4 Dream of Change (5-2).

Reason: After this Euro shipper finally demonstrated competitiveness in allowance company for Chad Brown, Chad put her back on the bench for 2 months and then offered her for sale. The negative trend continues for new trainer Fausto Gutierrez, who claimed this runner for $50,000 and then gave her a 3-month rest. Some big issues lie below the surface as Dream of Change returns for an even lower price tag.


#2 Built Different (4-1). She won her debut while racing for a $50,000 tag with Jose Ortiz aboard. After 4 unsuccessful tries against nonclaimers, she drops back into the claiming ranks with Ortiz aboard again. This filly has run well fresh in the past, and her recent works suggest she’ll do so in this contest.

#5 Tiz Impressive (3-1). This habitual bridesmaid posted a big 85 speed figure two races ago that earned her a shot against allowance horses last time. Trainer Pinchin appears to have her fit as he drops her back into a claimer against struggling turf horses. With Luis Saez aboard, they’ll make the most out of whatever pace scenario unfolds.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Tiz Impressive (3-1), 85
  • #2 Built Different (4-1), 82
  • #3 Tempora (15-1), 81