RTSS False-Favorite Report, Friday, April 19, 2024

Last weekend’s RTSS reports produced 2 winners in 6 races, with 5 of 6 false favorites losing.

We nailed Encino as our top choice in the Lexington Stakes, giving us 4 winners in the final 6 Kentucky Derby prep races! We’re feeling pretty good about understanding the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s Derby entrants. Stay tuned!

No Derby preps this week. Just working-class horses at Aqueduct and Keeneland, with a look at the Illinois Derby from Hawthorne on Saturday.

AQUEDUCT

RACE 7. State-Bred Allowance N1x. 6.5 Furlongs. Dirt.

False Favorite: #2 Waralo (5-2).

Reason: This gelding dominated the allowance ranks at Finger Lakes, but he’s 0 for 3 at this level at AQ. In all three attempts he weakened late. He gave way badly in his most recent try and then was laid off. We doubt that this 5-year-old is now coming back stronger.

BETS

#1 Dr. Kraft (3-1). Like his stablemate Waralo, Dr. Kraft has a few near-miss efforts at this level. The second try with blinkers might go more smoothly than the first time he wore them, and that might make the difference.

#5 Messi the Magician (4-1). Manny Franco prefers this runner over the morning-line favorite. Messi’s most recent race earned him a speed figure significantly higher than any achieved by his rivals today. The sharp 4-furlong work since then suggests he can repeat that number.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Messi the Magician (4-1), 94
  • #3 Bourbon’s Hope (15-1), 89
  • #1 Dr. Kraft (3-1), 88

RACE 8. State-Bred Maiden Claimer $30,000. 1 Mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #3 Watch Hill (2-1).

Reason: This 4-year-old gelding is now 0 for 6 at this level, including 4 failed tries at this distance. Even though his most recent start ranks as his best one, that race took place 41 days ago. So much for trying to strike while the iron is hot!

BETS

#4 I’m Just (4-1). Greatly overmatched last year in state-bred MSW company, I’m Just gets a much-needed class drop here. Any concerns about fitness off the long layoff are alleviated by the impressively long and steady work schedule this runner has followed since early February. Trainer Clement scores with 30% of his horses getting blinkers for the first time. With the apprentice aboard to lighten the load, it looks like Clement is pulling out all the stops.

#10 Solo Tonight (6-1). Horacio De Paz hits at an amazing 37% rate with horses going from two sprints to a route. This runner’s best effort came at this track and distance. He returns to a route with Lasix this time and a jockey who wins 43% of the time with this trainer.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses

KEENELAND

RACE 9. Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes. 1 Mile and 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #3 Scylla (8-5).

Reason: She has never raced against older stakes horses. This 4-year-old filly that’s slow out of the gate takes a huge step up in class after finishing second in a short field of allowance horses at Gulfstream. This is also her first race around two turns.

BETS

#1 Raging Sea (5-2). She nearly won a Grade 2 race at this track and distance straight off of her debut win. She ended last year with a Grade 3 victory and comes into this race with strong works for Chad Brown.

#6 Hidden Connection (10-1). She nearly won this race last year at 11-1 and has a good shot at getting the job done this year at similar odds. She owns the highest career BRIS speed figure in this group, loves the distance and has been tearing up the track in her morning works.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #6 Hidden Connection (10-1), 99
  • #1 Raging Sea (5-2), 97
  • #4 Loved (3-1), 97