RTSS False-Favorite Report, Saturday, March 2, 2024

We’re looking for an upset in the Fountain of Youth Stakes today. See our analysis at the bottom.

FAIR GROUNDS

RACE 1. Maiden Claimer $12,500.6 Furlongs.  Dirt.

False Favorite: #5 Cajun Blast (3-1).

Reason: Keith Desormeaux gave up on this horse last July when this $70,000 runner seemed ready to beat MSW company at Ellis Park. Since acquiring the horse, trainer Ricky Courville (0 for 17 at FG) has seen this gelding fade badly twice at Delta Downs. This huge class drop looks quite negative.

BETS

#7 Palmisano (7-2). His debut at the $30,000 level was a disaster. He then got a break so that his trainer could fix the kinks. The sharp workout suggests improvement is on the way.

#8 Talk of the Town (9-2). Like Palmisano, he also failed badly in his debut and got a break to straighten out problems. The trainer hits at 33% with horses switching from turf to dirt.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • Not applicable because of multiple lightly raced horses

RACE 4. Optional Claimer $10,000 ($5,000 Starter Allowance). 1 Mile. Dirt.

False Favorite: #1 Zing (3-1).

Reason: Something went wrong last November, when a $50,000 claim on her was voided. A layoff followed and then a few class drops. She was eased in her most recent start, so she ships in from Delta Downs in less than ideal condition.

BETS

#4 Blessed Anna (7-2). She finished second twice to a Starter Allowance monster at Delta Downs and finds a good spot here. Having Reylu Gutierrez riding is a plus.

#7 Rain (8-1). This 7-year-old distance specialist and win machine comes in off of a sprint prep. She won 3 of her past 6 races.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #9 Xcaret (9-2), 80
  • #7 Rain (8-1), 78
  • #4 Blessed Anna (7-2), 77

GULFSTREAM PARK

RACE 14. Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. 1 Mile and 1/16th. Dirt.

False Favorite: #5 Dornoch (2-1).

Reason: Trainer Danny Gargan said he doesn’t plan to have Dornoch 100% cranked up; instead, he’ll bring him up to peak form slowly. Additionally, Dornoch’s middle fraction in routes are slow for this level, as are his final times. Slow mid fractions give horses, especially frontrunners and pressers, a breather that allows them to finish strongly. In tough races like this, Dornoch might not get that easy middle quarter. We won’t see his best effort here, and even if we did it might not be good enough, given his slow final times earned under somewhat ideal conditions.

BETS

#1 Speak Easy (9-2). He ran about as perfect and electrifying a debut as you’ll ever see. After pressing today’s rival Victory Avenue through rapid fractions, he took over and drew clear in fast time. This WinStar homebred by Constitution looks to have a bright future. With the advantageous rail draw and the Pletcher/Irad Ortiz combo in his corner, he should improve further.

#8 Locked (5-2). With the exception of his BC Juvenile performance, his two-turn races have been patient and powerful. As a late runner he’ll benefit from a fast early pace to set up his closing kick. He gets considerable class relief, so he might be good enough to run them all down regardless of the pace.

Top Relevant BRIS Speed Figs

  • #8 Locked (5-2), 104
  • #1 Speak Easy (9-2), 103
  • #3 Victory Avenue (4-1), 100