Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Saturday, January 7, 2023

As mentioned in yesterday’s report, RTSS realized strong (unparalleled?) success on the 2022 Triple Crown trail. We’ve launched into this year’s Triple Crown space with two winners in two stakes races for Kentucky Derby hopefuls:

  • Jace’s Road in the Gun Runner Stakes at FG
  • Victory Formation in the Smarty Jones Stakes at OP

Those results can be key to deciphering future stakes races this year. The Jerome Stakes today at Aqueduct serves as a prime example. (See analysis below.)


RACE 2. State-Bred Maiden Special Weights. 6 furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #5 Please Be Nice (5-2).

Reason: Bill Mott debuts this son of Violence off of sharp workouts. Mott has never excelled with firsters, so we’ll object to the short odds and take a shot against him.


#6 Scaramanga (6-1). Someone thought this NY-bred colt was good enough to compete against open company. The early speed he showed while dueling in his GP debut suggests they were right. He takes a neat class drop here into restricted MSW company for a trainer hitting at 23% with second-time starters. Lasix and a top jockey add to the allure.

#9 Bingood to Knowya (8-1). He raced greenly in his debut, but still managed to finish fourth of 10. Baker then shoved him in over his head in a turf route. Between the works prior to his debut, the turf route and his recent works, he should be very fit. Add some Lasix, bkinkers and a 5-pound weight allowance and you have value it seems.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

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

BONUS RACE: JEROME STAKES. 3-year-olds. 1 mile. Dirt.

Favorite: #6 Arctic Arrogance (8-5). After setting a pressured pace in the 9-furlong, Grade 2 Remsen and holding gamely for second place, Arctic Arrogance seems to fit perfectly in this 1-mile, nongraded event. We’d join his backers here if not for the presence of Kentucky invader Lugan Knight.

Arctic Arrogance is a NY-bred colt with a modest pedigree. Both wins, as well as one placing, came in NY-bred contests. So the real measure of his capabilities in open stakes company is his performance in the Remsen. On the surface it looks impressive. He and the winner Dubyuhnell finished 11 lengths ahead of the third-place horse. But the opening splits were moderate, and the inexperienced Dubyuhnell came into the race off a maiden win. Arctic Arrogance had advantages in pace, class and experience and still came up short.

Yes, we’re being very critical of the favorite but, we believe, not overly so. We see an overachiever that has been competing against softer company about to meet a superior horse.


#4 Lugan Knight (4-1). His MSW win at Keeneland might’ve been enough for us to back him in this event. He got stuck inside in a slow-paced sprint and still rallied late to top a field of 12 in decent time.

The followup, a third-place finish behind eventual Gun Runner winner Victory Formation, was even more impressive. After a slow start he rallied steadily, posting a fast time for the distance. He has the speed to lead or rate, and he finishes his sprints more strongly than his rivals here.

A bit of comparison handicapping seals the deal for us. His ability to compete well against a horse of Victory Formation’s caliber ranks more highly than competing with Dubyuhnell or NY state-breds. Oh, the odds are also better.


RACE 1. Maiden Claimer $20,000. 7.5 furlongs. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #10 Public Service (4-1).

Reason: Kelly Breen claimed this former Chad Brown trainee for $40,000. I doubt his plan was to grab a $15,000 winner’s share 5 months later. In other words, the two layoffs and drop to this level shape up as a clear negative trend.


#2 Zen (9-2). She takes a logical drop to this level for the first time while stretching out to a more suitable distance. The pedigree is all turf and the Casse/Saez handlers are topnotch.

#12 Miscreant (6-1). After nearly winning her debut at this level on dirt, she earned a few shots at the $40,000 level. With a series of sharp works, the top BRIS figure and a class drop, she looks ready to roll.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #12 Miscreant (6-1), 77
  • #2 Zen (9-2), 74
  • #6 Girly the Butcher (10-1), 74

RACE 5. Claiming $8,000 N2L. 1 mile 1/16th. All Weather.

False Favorite: #8 Glorious Tribute (8-5).

Reason: He’s a 6-year-old gelding with just 1 win in 22 starts. He also hasn’t won a race since 2020. We’d be more hopeful for him among GP’s bottom dwellers, except his most recent 3 races are failures at this approximate level at Woodbine.


#3 Bluto’s Candy (4-1). He skids down to this level off a mediocre effort at $12,500. His BRIS speed figure from a few races back would make his late rush a winning one in this field.

#4 Morethanicanhandle (5-2). Obviously the best shot for this runner is to find a field in which he can steal the lead and survive. The $20,000 level proved too steep, so the drop makes sense. Trainer Kelly Breen wins with nearly 30% of his runners that drop two or more levels.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #3 Bluto’s Candy (4-1), 86
  • #4 Morethanicanhandle (5-2), 85