LazyBettorUSA False Favorite Report: Emerald Downs #3

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Race 1. $7,500 Optional Claimer. 6 furlongs. Dirt

Favorite: #4 Bella’s Back, 7-5

Favorite Type: LEGITIMATE.

Suggested Bets: Place bet on #4 Bella’s Back

Bet Rationale: Bella’s Back not only won emphatically at this level last time out, she fits the profile of the most common winners of starter allowance conditions (“horses who have started for a claiming price of $xxx since xxxx”). This condition holds a high percentage of repeat winners because it excludes most higher priced horses. Most competitors are moving up in class, not down. (You can find an in-depth discussion of this in James Quinn’s classic work The Handicapper’s Condition Book.)

With a 44% trainer and the meet’s leading rider, Bella’s Back ranks as the best bet for a top-two placing on this card.

Race 4. $2,500 Claimer N1Y/N4L. 1 mile. Dirt

Favorite: #1 On the Wings Of, 5-2

Favorite Type: FALSE. Falling Knife (See The Punter’s Tale for details.)

Suggested Bets: #2 Bernie (8-1), #6 Shifty Dancer (3-1)

Bet Rationale: On the Wings OF shipped in from Golden Gate in his most recent start. Despite a class drop from larger track to smaller track, he found himself a distant fifth at the 6-furlong mark and lost more lengths from there to the finish. This 7-year-old with no wins since 2019 appears to be in sharp decline as he hits the bottom here.

#2 Bernie stretches out after two lackluster sprint tries at Emerald. His most recent win came at the end of the season here at this distance and class level. There’s not a lot to beat in this race, and Bernie gets leading rider Couton to help him get the job done.

#6 Shifty Dancer owns a 5 for 21 record at this distance. He’s been competing at levels above where he was claimed at four races ago. This is his first attempt back down at this claimed price, and it comes after he competed for the early lead at the $3,500 level.

Race 6. $5,000 Claimer N2L. 1 mile. Dirt

Favorite: #8 Master Recovery, 5-2

Favorite Type: FALSE. Falling Knife (See The Punter’s Tale for details.)

Suggested Bets: #3 Triunfador (8-1), #5 Lukenbach (5-1)

Bet Rationale: After lagging early in his recent sprint, Master Recovery managed to lose ground from the 4-furlong mark to the finish line. If the sprint was a prep for the stretchout here, it was a very weak one. The big class drop suggests the stable isn’t very confident of the horse’s current form.

#3 Triunfador ships in off a terrible effort at Golden Gate. Two races earlier he broke his maiden by a nose at the $8,000 maiden claiming level. He hit the ground here with a decent 4-furlong workout, and the odds should be generous for this newcomer to the Northwest for a very capable trainer.

#5 Lukenbach demolished $10,000 maiden claimers at Turf Paradise last time out. He posted two excellent works here at Emerald Downs. A repeat of his most recent appears likely.

Race 8. $3,500 Claimer N1Y/N4L. 6 furlongs. Dirt

Favorite: #2 Raiderette, 8-5

Favorite Type: FALSE. Falling Knife (See The Punter’s Tale for details.)

Suggested Bets: #3 Jupiter S. (4-1), #5 Blowing Bayou (7-2)

Bet Rationale: Whoa! What a class drop for Raiderette! Claimed for $8,000 two races ago, he was raised to the $20,000 level and now drops to $3,500. It seems hopes were high off of the $8000 claim, but now all hope is lost.

#3 Jupiter S. looks to repeat her winning effort last time out. This distance might be a stretch for a horse whose win at 5.5 furlongs was preceded by seven races at 4.5 furlongs. But she’s fit.

#5 Blowing Bayou also comes off a winning effort. Hers took place at the $2,500 level. She’s a fit horse taking a modest class raise for a high-percentage trainer and jockey.


False Favorites: 4 (This is the third Emerald Downs report)

False-Favorite Win %: 0 (0 winners in 4 races)

Alternative-Bet Win %: 100 (4 winners in 4 races)

Alternative-Bet ROI: +47.5% ($400 bet and $590 returned)