RTSS False-Favorite Report, Saturday, February 24, 2024

Friday’s Racetrack Super Scout report delivered two winners in the three races covered. Not only that, all 3 horses we tagged as false favorites went down to defeat.

Those results extend our false-fav streak to 10 consecutive accurate predictions. With 5 winners in that span, the Racetrack Super Scout now functions as expected. That January cold spell fades further into our rear-view mirror.

Today’s report takes you to the usual venues (Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park), plus we cover the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.


RACE 2. Allowance N1x. 1 Mile. Turf (Analysis for turf only).

False Favorite: #6 Sweet Alyssa (7-2).

Reason: After breaking her maiden in her debut when running 6 furlongs on dirt, she has lost 9 straight races at this level, 6 of them on turf. We’ll bet the absence of wins and placings at this level will continue.


#4 Theroanrunner (5-1). After a flash-and-fade effort by this runner in the slop, trainer Joe Sharp reinstates the rider who last won with him. That fourth-place finish on dirt nearly equaled the horse’s best turf speed rating, so he seems fit and ready to fire.

#5 Tough Legacy (5-1). His BRIS speed figure towers above all others here. As a son of Hard Spun he should take to turf well enough to repeat it. Trainer Norm Casse hits at 24% with horses making their second start off a layoff.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #5 Tough Legacy (5-1), 89 (dirt)
  • #7 Now Yus Cant Leave (9-2), 86
  • #4 Theroanrunner (5-1), 84

RACE 3. State-Bred Claiming $25,000 N3L/N1Y. 1 Mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #1 Jax Man (9-5).

Reason: His last win came two years and six layoffs ago. This 7-year-old gelding takes his first drop into claiming company, but he’s just 1 for 12 at the Fair Grounds and might fare better with that move at Evangeline Downs.


#5 Commander Scott (3-1). He should be plenty fit after two turf routes and a competitive allowance effort.

#6 Home Visit (5-2). He just missed winning a two-turn event when Karl Broberg returned him from a layoff. Sharp form. Solid connections.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #6 Home Visit (5-2), 82
  • #5 Commander Scott (3-1), 79


RACE 7. Optional Claimer $25,000 N1x. 1 Mile. Turf (Analysis for turf only)

False Favorite: #9 Boston Rose (9-5).

Reason: This Euro shipper makes her second US start after tiring late in a similar race. She was a sprinter in Europe and then faded in a two-turn event in the US. So far the evidence suggests she’s competing at the wrong distance.


#1 Typey (6-1). She rallied well after being bumped hard at the start at this level last time. She’s usually well positioned early and seems fit for her second start off a layoff.

#7 Royal Dame (6-1). She was a win machine last year, missed by a nose at this level last time, and loves turf.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #7 Royal Dame (6-1), 92
  • #1 Typey (6-1), 90
  • #12 Hola Gata (9-2), 86


RACE 11. Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. 1 Mile and 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #7 Timberlake (6-5).

Reason: We might be splitting hairs, but likely odds of even money on an inconsistent runner stands as a good opportunity to find value. Yes, Timberlake faced much more accomplished horses last year than the motley dozen that’ll line up against him in the Rebel. Yes, he owns a Grade 1 win. And yes, there’s no runner from the Baffert, Pletcher, Brown or Mott barns. Not even a Casse colt!

Now for the splitting hairs part. Timberlake has never won a race around two turns. He comes in off a long layoff but has never won off a layoff. And the most consistent performance feature is his repeated slow breaks from the gate. In an environment of escalating purchase prices for offspring of top sires, the son of Into Mischief sold for far less than that sire’s average. The performance ceiling for him just might be lower than most bettors think.


#1 Carbone (15-1). He goes from favored in the Southwest Stakes to 15-1 here. That alone warrants a bet. Add his faster-than-average raw times in his two runaway wins and Asmussen’s willingness to bring him right back and step him up in class. His tremendous natural speed and rail position should put him in a good spot throughout.

#11 Just Steel (7-2). D. Wayne Lukas trains the likely second choice, who enters the contest after two placings in back-to-back races at a mile and a sixteenth. Lukas kept this $500,000 Justify colt sprinting prior to his slightly disappointing stretch runs in those two-turn races. The replay of the Southwest Stakes shows Just Steel fighting Ramon Vazquez in the backstretch as Vazquez attempts to settle him behind the speedsters. Entering the stretch, Just Steel explodes to the lead but is blown away late by Mystik Dan.

Two positives here: The one-mile time on the muddy track was faster than all local rivals, and he was the only horse in the top flight that didn’t quit after 6 or 7 furlongs (despite fighting his jockey a bit).

Lukas worked him a relaxing 6 furlongs after that race. And Just Steel mirrors some the best Lukas overachievers, in that he has raced often. He’s as fit as he’ll ever be and probably has only one horse to beat.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #11 Just Steel (7-2), 91
  • #1 Carbone (15-1), 90