Racetrack Super Scout Figuring Kentucky Derby Horses Out

Lazy Bettor Guides’ Racetrack Super Scout (RTSS) scouts out false favorites every Friday and Saturday. As a bonus we include our analysis of major Kentucky Derby prep races.

Using methods detailed in The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby (included with an RTSS subscription), we’ve keyed in on winners of 5 of 6 stakes races for potential Derby entrants. We also steered RTSS subscribers away from wasting money on 3 false favorites along the Derby trail.

Here’s the insight RTSS subscribers have had access to this Derby season.

Arkansas Derby

False Favorite: #6 Secret Oath (5-2). The favoritism for Secret Oath seems to come from her trouncing of extremely weak rivals and from the baseless excitement of a filly taking on top colts…. Gary Stevens said Secret Oath is better than Winning Colors. That statement shows that the only thing Gary is running these days is a fever…. Very little in Secret Oath’s resume qualifies her for favoritism in a Grade 1 race against colts. [Secret Oath lost as the heavy favorite.]

Alternative Bet: #8 Cyberknife (8-1). His allowance win at the Fair Grounds ranks as one of the fastest clockings at 8.5 furlongs on the Kentucky Derby trail this year. He owns a topnotch pedigree and has one of the best trainers in the country getting him ready. His maiden win at Churchill Downs rang up at a sizzling 1:09.3, showing that he possesses excellent early speed. Combine that with his perfect stalking trips in 2 of his 3 races around two turns, and you get talent and professionalism that might be unmatched in this race…or in the 3-year-old class of 2022. [Cyberknife defeated the false favorite, Secret Oath, and paid a plump $13.60.]

Florida Derby

False Favorite: Simplification (5-2). Tough call here. Simplification has done so much right. He’s versatile. He has impressive, open-length wins against tough customers. But his final times in 2-turn races are slow.  He also tends to cause problems for himself. I see just enough vulnerability to justify betting against him. [Simplification put in a game effort but finished third.]

Louisiana Derby

Legitimate Favorite: Epicenter (7-5). I’ve been on the Epicenter bandwagon since before the Lecomte, but he needs to step up his game here. [Epicenter stepped up his game and won while breaking the track record. No bet recommended, but we generally advise not to bet against legitimate favorites.]

Hutcheson Stakes

False Favorite: #4 Nitrous Channel (7-5). He has only a debut maiden win on his resume. That race didn’t give him the fastest pace or final time among his rivals today. In short, he lacks experience and doesn’t own the strongest figures.

Alternative Bet: #5 Provocateur  (3-1). He followed an impressive maiden victory with a strong placing in a 7-furlong stakes race at Tampa. The extra furlong proved a bit too much, but he sparkled for 6 fast panels. That race shows he belongs with stakes horses, and the cut back in distance seems like a big plus. [Provocateur defeated the heavily bet false favorite, Nitrous Channel.]

Tampa Bay Derby

Legitimate Favorite: In our estimation Classic Causeway (8-5) stands out as the class of the field. In winning the Sam Davis Stakes at this track last time out, Classic Causeway exposed the weaknesses of several highly regarded Derby prospects. [Classic Causeway won easily, leading from gate to wire.]

Fountain of Youth

Legitimate Favorite:  Simplification (5-2). You can see how Simplification and A.P.’s Secret run fast early and fast mid race. Most importantly they also run faster than their current rivals late in the race despite working harder than them early. Very impressive! [Simplification emerged victorious, going off as the post-time second choice.]