Piggybacking on the picks of great investors and money managers can often lead to big rewards -- especially when the stocks in question are getting pummeled. If Warren Buffett finds opportunity in bonds, perhaps you should look there, too. Does Bill Miller think financial stocks are beaten down? Maybe investigating more closely will help improve your own results.

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, our top-rated All-Star players represent the best 20% of more than 105,000 professional and novice investors. I'm looking among them for those who've chosen one- and two-star stocks to outperform the market. The majority of CAPS investors may consider these stocks losers, but if our ace contrarians think otherwise, these picks might be worth a look.

Here are a few stocks that have gotten the nod from the cream of our CAPS investors:


CAPS Rating (5 Max)

5-Year Estimated EPS Growth

CAPS All-Star

Player Rating

Media General (NYSE:MEG)





Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN)





The Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ:BONT)





Standard Pacific (NYSE:SPF)





Targacept (NASDAQ:TRGT)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS; Yahoo! Finance.

A Triple Crown threat
Let's trot to Kentucky and check on the storied Churchill Downs racetrack. The excitement surrounding Big Brown's run for horse racing's Triple Crown began earlier this month when the horse with the plain name won the Kentucky Derby at the Downs, but all is not rosy beneath the twin spires. The Downs is struggling to maintain its relevance and keep itself healthy enough to ward off any deathbed chills.

The track is locked in a bitter dispute with Kentucky horsemen who have vetoed Churchill Downs' ability to simulcast its signal to national advance-deposit wagering (ADW) sites. The company owns various other tracks around the country, as well as its own ADW website. As the battle escalated, Churchill Downs has upped the ante by cutting purses 20% and filing a lawsuit charging the horsemen with violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The horsemen want more of the money that Churchill Downs receives from various offtrack betting operations to go into the purses, a plan the track says would make the system unprofitable. The whole donnybrook threatens to bring down a colorful enterprise at a time when horse racing has been having enough difficulties attracting crowds. Big Brown's run for history -- no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed won it 30 years ago -- has ignited a spark of interest, although both Churchill Downs and the horsemen could end up dousing the opportunity. Bettors and investors sense the problem brewing, as CAPS player illtwin2 notes.

If the simulcasting [dilemma] continues and [Churchill Downs] doesn't give the Horsemen their fair share of the simulcasting proceeds, this stock will continue to go down. Without the simulcasting [Churchill Downs] will underperform. Stockholders should be made aware of this [dilemma]. Also, if [Churchill Downs] keeps trying strong arm tactics, such as cutting purses in an attempt to break the Horsemen, they'll be setting themselves up for a lot of grief.

Finding value under rocks
So there you have it -- five low-rated laggards that have gotten big endorsements from some of the best and brightest investors in the CAPS community, although there are always some who are not so sure. If you want to add your two cents on these or any other companies, sign up to join Motley Fool CAPS, absolutely free.