Lazy Bettor Guides False-Favorite Report, Saturday, September 16, 2023

Okay! Two winners in three races yesterday! One of the three false favorites defeated us, but we cashed nicely against the other two.

We’ll tackle Belmont and Gulfstream again for Saturday. And we’ll add bonus coverage (at the end) for the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, featuring 2-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls going a mile.

[Note that we will not publish RTSS reports next weekend, September 22 and 23. I’ll be undergoing minor surgery on Friday.]


RACE 1. Maiden Special Weights. 6.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #6 Hurricane Nelson (2-1).

Reason: Despite his sparkling debut performance at Saratoga, we view this colt suspiciously. We suspect that the weakness of his pedigree will show up eventually. We’re betting that happens very soon.


#2 Ignite the Light (12-1). Richard Dutrow is returning to his prior levels of training excellence now that he has had time to attract owners and build a stable. (No comment on his past offenses. For betting purposes, it’s important to acknowledge Dutrow’s abilities.) Since this runner demonstrated his potential to Dutrow with a near-bullet gate workout on August 9, the son of Into Mischief hasn’t missed a beat in the mornings. It looks like Dutrow has spent a productive month applying the finishing touches.

#3 Commander of Truth (7-2). When Irad opts for a Chad Brown firster we take a positive view of other factors. He owns an impressive pedigree and shows consistent works.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple debut and lightly raced horses


RACE 3. Claiming $6,250 N2L. 6.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Grand Rock (2-1).

Reason: With three losses already at this level, all featuring a late-race fade, Grand Rock looks like a sinking stone. This need-to-lead colt just hasn’t been fast enough to kick clear early.


#1 North Carolina (9-2). It’s odd that Kathy Guciardo waited so long to try a sprint with this runner. That said, it also seems like a good idea, as NC possesses enough early speed to track the pace and enough route stamina to finish a sprint strongly.

#3 No More Debt (5-2). When I started writing The Punter’s Tale, I assumed a 50% drop in claiming price for a maiden winner was a negative drop. The small sample of stats I accumulated for the book contradicted that opinion. Maiden winners dropping like this were hugely successful. Further, Kathleen O’Connell hits well above average with these types. The long layoff and jockey switch from Vasquez to Panici will be seen as negatives and should help the price.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #3 No More Debt (5-2), 82
  • #1 North Carolina (9-2), 75


RACE 9. Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes. 1 Mile. Dirt.

Favorite: #8 Risk It (2-1).

Based on his impressive maiden win in his debut race, this Steve Asmussen trainee looks like a star in the making. He posted fast splits and an above-average winning time while racing comfortably on the lead. The unanswered question today is how well can he run while dueling for the lead or when forced to stalk a faster horse or two. We’re not saying that he can’t get the job done. We just think the short odds don’t justify the risk.


#9 Patriot Spirit (7-2). This son of Constitution stalked and pounced through crackling fractions when winning his debut at Colonial Downs. When a young runner does something special, we take notice and bet that the pleasant surprises will continue. That’s how we landed on Arcangelo in the Belmont Stakes. Patriot Spirit registered a turn time (the quarter mile from 2 furlongs to 4 furlongs in a sprint) more than a full second faster than any TT posted by his rivals. That’s special! And he’s our top pick here.

#7 Gettysburg Address (12-1). This Brad Cox trainee posted one of the slowest winning times of any entrant here while winning his debut. But we like the way he relaxed in that 11-horse field while stalking the leaders. That might be a key asset in this speed-laden affair. Cox has been working him long for quite some time, and the pedigree suggests he’ll improve as the distances lengthen.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

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