False Favorite Report: Emerald Downs #1 (Sample for May 26, 2021)


We launched the “Instant Value Handicapping” channel on YouTube to prove out methods detailed in The Punter’s Tale (A Bettor’s Quest for Racetrack Profits). Following up on the success of that video series, we offer these False-Favorite Reports.

The Punter’s Tale explains how to identify false favorites and select horses to bet against them. With the public betting an inordinate amount of money on a horse likely to lose, value is instantly created on other contenders. We expect to see false favorites we identify lose at a rate of 75% or higher. By making two-horse bets (or one Place bet as explained below) against these false favorites, we’re shooting for a win rate of 50% or higher.

Living up to our name, LazyBettorUSA, we’ve kept the wagering strategy simple:

  1. Examine morning-line favorites at a particular track.
  2. Bet only on races containing a false favorite.
  3. Bet two horses. For illustration purposes in the video series, we use a hypothetical $100 bankroll for each race and dutch the bets in $10 increments to get nearly the same return regardless of which horse wins.
  4. Assuming a long-term 50% win rate, accept odds of 8-5 or higher. If the odds on one horse drop below 8-5, treat that horse as a legitimate favorite and don’t bet against it. Instead, bet only on that horse, using $40Win/$60 Place as your standard wager to assure a 50% or higher hit rate.
  5. If the morning-line false favorite is scratched and you haven’t selected the new favorite as one of your alternatives, assume that horse is a false favorite and continue with your wager as described in the steps above.
  6. For the “Strongest Favorite of the Day” Place bet strategy, wager $100 to Place on the strongest favorite on the card.
  7. Cancel all bets for turf races if the race is taken off the turf.

Emerald Downs

False Favorites and Preferred Bets for Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Race 1. $2,500 N3L Claimer. 5 furlongs. Dirt

Favorite: #5 Irish Swing, 5-2

Favorite Type: FALSE. Mustachioed Wife (0 for 4 at $2,500 level; 0 for 5 at distance)

Suggested Bets: #1 All About Time (3-1) and #2 Azadi (5-1).

The favorite, Irish Swing, closes from way back. That explains his 5 failures at this very short distance. His 4 unsuccessful tries at this class level also steer us away.

All About Time should bolt to the lead. His sharp 4-furlong work suggests readiness, and the presence of strong journeyman Juan Gutierrez in the saddle should help him stretch his speed well. Azadi comes off a long layoff for a trainer who hits 33% of the time with that move. He owns just one unsuccessful try at this level, which was in a fast race for this level at the end of his 2020 campaign.

Bet Rationale: With the favorite’s lack of success at this distance and level, the bet here is to dutch the top early speed (All About Time) with the horse with the fewest lifetime failures (Azadi).

Race 2. $2,500 N2L Claimer. 5.5 furlongs. Dirt

Favorite: #5 National Heroine, 2-1

Favorite Type: FALSE. Mustachioed Wife (0 wins and placings at distance in 4 tries)

Suggested Bets: #2 French Tudor (5-1) and #3 Mean Sharon (5-2).

Here’s a familiar story. The favorite, National Heroine, closes from way back. That explains her 4 failures at this short distance. It’s unlikely that a 6-year-old mare that’s just 1 for 17 lifetime will finally find the burst of early or midrace speed needed to end up in the winner’s circle at 5.5 furlongs.

French Tudor comes off a win at Turf Paradise in early April. Trainer Rosales hits at an amazing 43% clip with horses coming off such a layoff. Also Frenchie was 0 for 10 on the Golden Gate polytrack before winning in her only try on dirt. Maybe this is her preferred surface?

Mean Sharon shortens up from a one-mile try in which she led for 4 furlongs. She clearly has been racing over her head, as if to protect her from being claimed while the barn got her fit. The drop here isn’t as negative as it seems when you consider her only win came at the inflated 2-year-old claiming price of $8,000. Leading rider Julien Couton is aboard.

Bet Rationale: With the favorite’s slow footedness and lack of success at this distance, the bet here is to dutch two horses with no lifetime failures at this level and some positive signs.


False Favorites: 0 (This is the first report)

False Favorite Win %: 0

Alternative Bet Win %: 0

Alternative Bet ROI: 0

(You can purchase a copy of The Punter’s Tale at for data and details about false-favorite categories such as the Mustachioed Wife, Falling Knife and Piper’s Fife.)