Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Saturday, August 26, 2023


RACE 2. State-Bred Allowance N1x. 5.5 Furlongs. Turf (Analysis for turf only)

False Favorite: #1 City Mischief (9-5).

Reason: He has lost 7 consecutive first-level allowance races of one sort or another.


#2 Ortus (3-1). He won on the turf off of a layoff last May. His two efforts at this level after that win were competitive. It’s reasonable to conclude Christophe Clement freshened him for the Saratoga meet and he’ll come back improved.

#8 Volkert (12-1). He earned the top BRIS speed figure when defeating claimers on the turf last time out. This always competitive horse catches a soft field for this level and might repeat at a nice price.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #8 Volkert (12-1), 91
  • #2 Ortus (3-1), 89
  • #6 Courageous Oh La (6-1), 87
  • #4 Feathers Road (10-1), 86

RACE 12. Grade 1 Travers Stakes. 1 Mile and 1/4. Dirt.

False Favorite: #1 Forte (7-5).

Reason: As impressive as his win/loss record looks (7 wins in 9 races), his raw times register as unexceptional and his early pace figures are weak. It’s unusual that those types of figures produce a multitude of wins, but here at Lazy Bettor Guides we saw this crop of graded stakes level 3-year-olds as below average as they got closer to Kentucky Derby day. That view has been verified with nonfavorites and new shooters winning nearly every major stakes race from the Kentucky Derby forward.

Early this year Forte beat up on weak rivals. Today, though, he faces a few runners who might prove to be true Grade 1 types. His slow-starting, late grinding style is likely to leave him short of victory.


#2 Arcangelo (5-2). Aside from the fact that he already defeated Forte handily, Arcangelo possesses several qualifications to be top nominee for “Best 3-year-old of 2023.” Our RTSS report for the Belmont Stakes selected him as the likely winner based on his exceptional winning time when breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park. He’s now 2 for 2 in graded stakes races and owns the best BRIS speed figure in the field. With just five career races, he appears to have more upside than rivals that mostly matured in May.

One drawback is that he doesn’t possess exceptional early speed. His turn of foot usually gets displayed, impressively, about midrace. Because of that, we’ll split our win action and make a relatively small wager on Scotland if we can get 5-2 or better on Arcangelo.

#7 Scotland (12-1). In typical Bill Mott fashion, Scotland has been patiently developed. He has just four lifetime races, but he’s only a nose away from being undefeated. Better yet, he possesses more natural early speed than any of his Travers’ foes. He set an honest Grade 1 pace last time when winning the restricted Curlin Stakes, and he seemed to do it easily. His slow final eighth of a mile appeared to be more a consequence of Junior Alvarado easing him up late than a measure of fatigue. The pace won’t wear him down, but can he hold off a truly explosive late charge from Arcangelo?

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #2 Arcangelo (5-2), 110
  • #1 Forte (7-5), 107


RACE 3. Claiming $8,000 3yo/N2L. 1 Mile and 1/16th. All Weather.

False Favorite: #8 Parchita (7-5).

Reason: Neither Jorge Delgado (her 26% prior trainer) nor Jose D’Angelo (her 19% current trainer saw her as a route runner. All 8 of her career races came at distances of 5.5 furlongs or shorter. Entering her in a two-turn event after a long layoff and huge class drop suggests serious speed-related physical issues have arisen. If she were truly better suited to route races, someone would’ve tried this move sooner and raised her in class instead of placing her on the South Florida summer clearance rack.


#3 Resonancia (5-1). She competed well at higher levels. Bobby Dibona doesn’t waste a lot of time getting recent claims to hit their peak. If she can overcome her gate issues, this might be the money run.

#4 Pasajera (3-1). She enters the fray off of back-to-back losses to the same horse. A repeat of either of her most recent two races would produce a win. She gets a significant jockey upgrade with Vasquez aboard.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #4 Pasajera (3-1), 82
  • #3 Resonancia (5-1), 75
  • #7 Martini’s Amica (12-1), 73

RACE 7. Claiming $25,000 3yo/N2L. 1 Mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 Knox (2-1).

Reason: Despite finding himself in last place in the early stages of his past three races, Knox still managed to lose ground in the stretch all three times. Usually we respect a horse dropping into claiming company for the first time, but Knox shows little ability to find momentum of any kind.


#2 Miles of Smiles (6-1). He gets his first crack at a route distance at this level. He competed well against better horses and now gets a positive rider switch from his races in optional claimers.

#7 Nowitzki (8-1). The plan to steal his first claiming race by seizing the lead got foiled last time out. Oddly, he catches a paceless group on the class rise.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of wildly fluctuating figures.