Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Saturday, January 21, 2023

AQUEDUCT

RACE 1. State-Bred Maiden Claimer $12,500. 6 furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #5 Patrick the Great (5-2).

Reason: With 5 of 7 entrants having lost their most recent race by 14 lengths or more, this Linda Rice trainee who once upon a time came within a nose of victory inherits the favorite role. However, he is one of the 14-length losers. That loss followed an 18-length drubbing and a long layoff. It sure looks like Rice claimed a lemon.

BETS

#1 Makart (7-2). He’s 0 for 12, with half of those losses coming at this level. But his best efforts came with Carmouche aboard, and he gives it another shot off a decent runnerup effort last time.

#3 Trevor Bardette (3-1). David Donk couldn’t convert sharp works for this runner into a decent run vs. MSW company. The class relief should greatly assist this 4-year-old that showed a flash of early speed in his most recent start.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #1 Makart (7-2), 75
  • #3 Trevor Bardette (3-1), 68
  • #6 Tiza Brown (15-1), 64

FAIR GROUNDS

RACE 3. Maiden Special Weights.  1 mile and 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 Spielman (3-1).

Reason: He’s a grinder that doesn’t finish with much gusto. Maybe the Lasix will change that pattern. Most likely a class drop would be a better solution.

BETS

#1 Gametime Gladiator (6-1). Bret Calhoun excels at prepping horses for their first two-turn race. Here he’s working with excellent stamina sire Tapit and a ground-saving post. Gametime Gladiator ran like a horse in need of more ground in his debut.

#6 Cagliostro (4-1). His Saratoga debut looked promising. He owns early speed and competed well against Kentucky Derby hopeful Champion’s Dream. The sharp works in combination with first-time Lasix should add up to a much improved effort.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses.

RACE 11. D. F. Kenner Stakes. 5.5 furlongs. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #2 Manny Wah (9-5).

Reason: He came up short in both recent turf tries, and that was against allowance company. This 7-year-old has just one win in his past 11 races, and his best turf speed figure in that span is just an 87.

BETS

#3 Boldor (9-2). You can see from the speed figure list below that it’s a tightly bunched field. As with his stakes win at Colonial in September, Bolder enters this race off of a few unimpressive preps. It’s tough to know where he is in his form cycle, but he accomplished that Colonial win in stunningly fast time.

#4 Evan Sing (4-1). With rain forecasted, it’s important to note he owns a win on a less-than-firm course, at Saratoga. His two strong closing efforts in allowance races since then came in full fields at premier meets, so they might be better than they look.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #1 Pyron (10-1), 91
  • #3 Boldor (9-2), 91
  • #6 Sign of War, (8-1), 91
  • #4 Evan Sing (4-1), 89

BONUS RACE 14: THE LECOMTE STAKES. 1mile 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: Instant Coffee (5-2).

Reason: He blasted through the late stages to win the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November. But the winning time was slower than both a maiden race and allowance race on the same day. His late-running style and outside post aren’t favorable on this course. Also, he found himself far back against classy horses in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity and was a nonfactor. He might relive that experience if there’s a true Kentucky Derby caliber rival in this race.

BETS

#4 Confidence Game (8-1). A bargain purchase at $25,000, this Keith Desormeaux trainee continues to show flashes of brilliance. He broke his maiden in a Churchill Downs sprint, leading all the way and drawing away by 5 lengths after running an opening quarter in :21.3. He ended his 2-year-old campaign by finishing second to a Pletcher monster named Forbidden Secret, who had just won a maiden race by 9.5 lengths. In his most recent start, fill-in rider Brian Hernandez pushed him to the lead in a Churchill allowance race in fast fractions. His winning time in that race was faster than the time for the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes that took place three races later. He owns a pace and final time advantage over all rivals here that have competed around two turns. That makes him our top pick.

#5 Tapit’s Conquest (9-2). He’s cross-entered in an allowance race earlier on the card. If Brad Cox decides to run him here, we’ll take that as a sign of confidence. After an impressive Saratoga debut where he ran past next-out winner Full Moon Madness and just missed winning, he aced his initial two-turn attempt while leading most of the way after starting from post 10. He’s bred to be special and has lived up to his pedigree so far.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses.