RTSS False-Favorite Report, Friday, April 12, 2024

The RTSS reports steered subscribers onto 3 winners in the final 5 major Kentucky Derby preps. The only “false” favorite to beat us was Sierra Leone in a fast-paced Blue Grass Stakes that set up his late charge perfectly.

That eye-catching finish also sets him up to possibly replace Fierceness as the post-time favorite in the Derby. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have the Lexington Stakes to evaluate on Saturday.


RACE 1. Maiden Claimer $20,000. 6 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: Creation of Adam (4-5).

Reason: This 4-year-old gelding has as many huge negatives as he does races. A late debut as a 3-year-old came at a claiming price that was just 25% of his purchase price. After missing victory by a nose, he was laid off for 5 months. Then a claim on him was waived and he was laid off for 3 more months.

Perhaps these negatives are overridden by the return to the same class level, suggesting trainer Chris Englehart isn’t attempting to quickly sell him off. Still, Creation of Adam twice struggled to win at this level, and he’s likely no healthier or faster now than before.


#1 Citizen Mack (5-2). He’s 0 for 11 but has failed at this level just twice. With lots of shaky early-Speed types entered, this plodding closer might finally catch the scenario needed to catch all rivals in deep stretch.

#6 King of France (5-1). Towards the end of October 2023, Rudy Rodriguez and Jose Gomez were winning at a 17% clip together, with Gomez riding most of Rudy’s winners at the fall meet. So the rider switch to Gomez is very positive. This speedster will be aided by the cutback in distance, as well as by the addition of blinkers.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple debut and lightly raced horses

RACE 5. Claiming $25,000 N2L. 6.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #4 Youbetterbejoking (2-1)

Reason: Linda Rice switches riders to her number-one guy, Lezcano. Aside from that, everything looks negative. A slow start last time combined with an even slower finish added up to a distant sixth-place finish at this level. That confirmed his near-miss fourth-place finish the race prior was the result of a slow final time posted by the winner. In the three races at this level since Rice claimed him at $16,000, this runner has shown he’s racing over his head.


#1 Screw Loose (4-1). He broke poorly in his most recent start, but he then made a persistent effort. Trainer Mark Hennig optimistically moves him up a level.

#3 Perliano (7-2). This runner drops into pure claiming company for the first time, a 24% move with a positive ROI for trainer Rob Atras. Atras also switches to his barn’s top rider, Manny Franco.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #1 Screw Loose (4-1), 81
  • #3 Perliano (7-2), 81


RACE 4. Claiming $80,000 N2L. 7 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 Harrodsburg (6-5).

Reason: The last time he raced at this level he lost by a nose, with the third-place horse finishing nearly 6 lengths back. That effort was so impressive that Rob Atras next took a shot with him in the Grade 3 Dwyer. The immediate drop into a claimer off of a long layoff signals a sharp decline in this runner’s abilities.


#7 Aged Truth (6-1). This impressive debut winner takes the next logical step. Trainer Caramori wins at a 26% clip with horses coming off a layoff. A solid string of works suggests this runner is fit and ready.

8 Abadin (9-2). Trainer Michael Maker hits with 19% of his horses dropping into claiming company for the first time. With Luis Saez aboard and a long series of improving 5-furlong workouts, this runner should be ready to roll.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #8 Abadin (9-2), 88
  • #7 Aged Truth (6-1), 86