Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Friday, November 25, 2022

For your post-Thanksgiving pleasure, we present the RTSS false favorites for Friday!


RACE 2. Maiden Claimer $20,000. 1 mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #6 Goodmorning Angel (5-2).

Reason: Layoffs, distance switches, surface changes, class drops. Asmussen has been creative with this filly…all to no avail. She has shown almost no hustle, early or late, in any scenario.


#2 Mostly Harmless (3-1). She takes her first shot at bottom dwellers. The class relief and weight break with the apprentice aboard could provide an insurmountable edge.

#4 Tekila (3-1). If the switch to Irad results in this filly breaking cleanly from the gate, she’s the winner. With no rivals displaying any early speed in their races so far, Tekila should inherit the easiest lead of her career.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Candlestick Maker (3-1), 79 (turf)
  • #2 Mostly Harmless (3-1), 71 (turf)
  • #4 Tekila (3-1), 70


RACE 2. Optional Claimer $100,000 N3x. 1 mile and 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 Will’s Secret (2-1).

Reason: In 9 consecutive races, contested at 5 different distances and 4 different class levels, this runner failed to close ground in the stretch. He comes back at a level where he already failed to win three times. Saez positioned him perfectly at the top of the stretch last time out, only for Will’s Secret to register his second-largest stretch fade in that 9-race span. He gets no class relief as he shoots for his first win in about 20 months.


#3 Graysonsmacho Gal (5-2). She’ll need to shake off Jungle Juice early for her best shot at victory. Unlike JJ, she seems able to survive early pressure. If she clears by the 6-furlong mark, she wins.

#4 Republique (3-1). This lightly raced runner is the only entrant other than the favorite that has never been entered for a tag. Although she failed twice in graded stakes company, her dominant allowance wins suggest there’s more upside. She’ll be the beneficiary if a pace duel develops.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #3 Graysonsmacho Gal (5-2), 98
  • #1 Jungle Juice (5-1), 92
  • #4 Republique (3-1), 88

RACE 5. Claiming $30,000 N2L. 1 mile 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Deep State (3-1).

Reason: Brian Lynch was convinced this runner was best on turf, and he protected Deep State from claim 8 times before throwing in the towel. At that point, Lynch flip-flopped and entered the horse in claiming races on the dirt. To this point, Deep State has only defeated turf horses in a race taken off the turf at Ellis Park. The class drop will help, but this runner has blown the start in 7 straight races and has shown no real perseverance in deep stretch.


#3 Mr. Creed (5-2). He’s one of just 3 entrants with one or fewer failures at this purse level ($54,000) or lower. His only win came at Churchill in his first try at this distance.

#5 Lord Captain (10-1). He owns the highest recent BRIS speed figure and will be on offer at generous odds. He should be fit after running 9 furlongs without changing leads in the stretch last time. He’s lightly raced, so there’s a chance he’s still improving.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Lord Captain (10-1), 86
  • #6 One Cool Dude (10-1), 83
  • #3 Mr. Creed (5-2), 82

RACE 7. Starter Allowance $20,000. 7 furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: Hometown Hero (3-1).

Reason: His first foray on the East Coast since last July came with a class drop to this level. He showed no interest early in the race and no closing kick. His prior wins at Churchill came at low class levels, and he probably will return there soon. It’s hard to see this paceless beast making any impact.


#8 Mr. Thunderstruck (8-1). His most recent sharp race against better suggest he’s got a class edge. His most recent works reinforce the view that he’s at top fitness. Maybe those factors can aid him in overcoming his tendency to come up a bit short.

#9 Atras (7-2). He showed early speed against better horses before fading last time. He returns to the appropriate class level. His easy win over $20,000 claimers indicates he can handle this minimal increase in competition from that effort.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #9 Atras (7-2), 87
  • #3 Nineties Country (3-1), 86
  • #8 Mr. Thunderstruck (7-1), 85

RACE 11. GRADE 1 Clark Handicap. 1 mile and 1/8th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Rich Strike (2-1).

Reason: With all the true Grade 1 horses retired or resting after the BC Classic, Rich Strike gets his last best shot at proving his Derby win was no fluke. Then again, defeating Last Samurai, Fulsome and the rest of this crew might not earn him many accolades. The biggest reason we see for betting against him is that, for a graded stakes horse, Rich Strike is slow. For a late runner to succeed regularly, he must have a strong enough late kick to make his final time faster than the competition. Rich Strike passed exhausted early runners and pressers in the Kentucky Derby and hasn’t caught a totally winded field since. To justify our characterization of him as slow, look at his 9-furlong times:

  • BC Classic, 1:49.25
  • Fayette Stk, 1:49.35
  • Travers Stk, 1:49.10
  • Ky. Derby, 1:49.55

Compare that to the winning 9-furlong times shown in the past-performance lines of his rivals today:

  • Stephen Foster, 1:47.60
  • Blame Stk., 1:48.40
  • Pennsylvania Derby (2021), 1:48.60
  • Oaklawn Hcp, 1:49.20
  • CD OptClmN2x, 1:49.20
  • SAR OptClmN3x, 1:49.40

Given that most winners of Kentucky Derby preps in April register 9-furlong times faster than 1:49.0, the now-mature Rich Strike runs slower than still-developing, 3-year-old Kentucky Derby prospects. Applying variants that put his speed figures anywhere near good Grade 1 horses elevates his accomplishments far beyond what they really are.


#1 Proxy (7-2). We backed him strongly when Dynamic One beat him by a length in the Blame Stakes at this track. Three of his past 4 losses were to horses that came back to win another stakes race the next time they ran. With no horse in this field even close to the caliber of Dynamic One or Olympiad, we see a good chance to finally cash a Win ticket on him.

#7 West Will Power (5-2). Once again he could be lone speed against second-tier stakes horses. Rosario and Geroux chose not to re-ride, but Luis Saez fits his front-running style perfectly.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #7 West Will Power (5-2), 104
  • #1 Proxy (7-2), 103
  • #3 Injunction (6-1), 101