Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Friday, September 1, 2023

In another weekend full of scratched picks and off-turf races, RTSS ended up providing limited wagers for subscribers. Last weekend’s report did deliver a gem, however.

The 2023 Travers Stakes played out almost exactly as we predicted:

  • We correctly and emphatically insisted Forte was a false favorite and vastly overrated. Credit the parameters found in The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby, which show Forte’s pace figures and final times falling well short of that book’s Gold Standard.
  • We pegged longshot Scotland as the likely pace setter.
  • We identified Arcangelo as the star of this year’s 3-year-old division (“the top nominee for best 3-year-old of 2023”) and the most likely winner. We also mentioned he possesses an impressive midrace kick, and the fractions of the 2023 Travers verify that. After tracking a tepid opening half mile, he covered the 4-furlong to 6-furlong portion of the race in about :23.60 before kicking out a sub :25.0 quarter to the one-mile mark.

Cashing in on this year’s divisional star at nonfavored odds of 5-2 was quite a coup in our opinion. It also demonstrates how The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby delivers value well beyond the Kentucky Derby!

Don’t miss the next big-race upset! Subscribe now to the Racetrack Super Scout (RTSS)! It includes access to The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby ebook.


RACE 7. Allowance N1x. 1 Mile and 1/16th. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #8 Expand the Map (2-1).

Reason: She’s 0 for 3 in allowance races, with no real stretch pop in any of those three losses. Chad Brown seems to think this runner is best at 7 furlongs to a mile, so she might be in here at 8.5 furlongs only because of all the turf cancelations at Saratoga this summer. Her prior struggles to win at the MSW level are being repeated here, so Saratoga competition might prove to be too stiff for her.


#3 Tamarama (4-1). Trainer Jack Sisterton has solid ties with a few European stables, and they often send him horses likely to run better in the US. This Euro shipper shows 4 wins in her last 10 starts. It’s possible that one of those four wins came against horses equal to or better than the crew she faces here.

#4 Root Cause (3-1). This nonfavored Chad Brown runner looks like the better bet to us. Brown won a race last week with Ortiz off and Prat on. With a quick move through the MSW ranks and just two losses at this level, she seems to be the classier of the Brown runners.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #7 I’m So Sorry (8-1), 97
  • #6 Dear Lady (10-1), 87 (dirt)
  • #1A Rhombique (6-1), 85

RACE 8. Claiming $25,000 N2L. 7 Furlongs.  Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 American Law (5-2).

Reason: This 5-year-old gelding makes his first drop into claiming company, a move we hesitate to bet against. However, his 1 for 15 career record and declining pace figures leave a big target on his butt. His BRIS E2 pace figs declined in 5 consecutive races. Because he was getting nipped near the wire when racing a mile, it made sense to shorten the distances. But despite competing in sprints recently, his raw half times slowed to less than what he was registering at a mile. The problem seems to be more than just a too-high level of competition.


#1 Morning Cup (9-2). Linda Rice and Jose Ortiz teamed up for a stellar Saratoga meet. They’ve got the top BRIS figure in this field with a runner returning to the claiming ranks after a brief layoff.

#4 Fight Fiercely (6-1). He shortens up after battling for the lead in a race one level higher. Rudy Rodriguez turns this runner around quickly and gives him much-needed class relief.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #1 Morning Cup (9-2), 88
  • #4 Fight Fiercely (6-1), 87
  • #8 Forced Ranking (7-2), 86


RACE 3. Maiden Claimer $35,000. 5.5 Furlongs. All Weather.

False Favorite: #6 The Great Cesar (8-5).

Reason: This slow-starting gelding returns from a 54-day layoff with blinkers on. Top-flight trainer Victor Barboza excels with these types, but we see only one workout since the prior race.


#2 Motown Punk (8-1). He moves up after an ugly debut. He dons blinkers and shows a fast 4-furlong work since the debut. We’re intrigued by Kathleen O’Connell’s apparent confidence.

#5 Warlord Cruzan (5-1). He pressed a rapid pace against better horses and should enjoy the class relief. With a sharp 5-furlong work a few days ago and Zayas in the saddle, victory seems likely.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

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