We are short on time this fine Wednesday morning, so we are going to be brief. Our featured track today is Sam Houston Race Park, which opened last week with an increase in the purse structure that has resulted in better racing than we've seen there in the past. This is worth supporting with our parimutuel dollars, so our plays will come from deep in the heart of Texas. It's supposed to be cloudy, but dry, in Houston, this afternoon, so we are expecting fast dirt and firm turf. Let's go. .
Sam Houston, Race 1, 1:20 pm ET
$20,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, dirt, 4 & Up
This race is absolutely loaded with speed, stacked with horses who seem to be able to win only one way, by going to the front and staying there. They can't all do that, obviously, but they will probably all try, which should result in an unsustainably fast early pace that has all the speedsters gasping for air down the stretch. Because of this, we like a closer, and one at a price: it's 2-Trophy Bridle, who's 15-1 on the morning line. He's got the best late-pace figures in the race, and should be able to pick up the pieces when the pace in front of him collapses. We'll bet him to win, and because he's such a big price, we'll throw in a place bet as well. The bets: Sam Houston, Race 1, $30 to win and $15 to place on 2-Trophy Bridle.
Sam Houston, Race 6, 3:49 pm ET
$15,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs, dirt, 4 & Up
The ten older horses entered here are pretty evenly matched, both in terms of ability, and in experience: all ten of them have exactly one career win apiece. It's consequently a fairly wide open race, but we like 6-Silent Force, who starts for trainer Scott Gelner. His last three races have been good, and last out he finished a very good second going around two turns on the turf. There are two angles to his entry here that we like: he's going from turf to dirt, and from a route to a sprint. The stamina he developed going long ont he grass will suit him very well at this 7 furlong distance. We will bet him to win at 4-1, and we will also bet him in the Daily Double with our pick (see below) in Race 7. The bets: Sam Houston, Race 6, $25 to win on 6-Silent Force; $20 double, 6 (Silent Force) with 2 (Morhawk).
Sam Houston, Race 7, 4:20 pm ET
Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 4 & Up
This first-level allowance on the grass drew a full field of ten,and is another terrific betting race (for those new either to the site or the sport, bigger fields equal better betting). We like 2-Morhawk, who comes out of a decent effort in a minor stakes race, and who just missed in a very similar spot at Remington Park in Oklahoma before that. He's got a very solid late kick, and we think there will be enough pace to set up his come-from-behind style. We will bet him to win at 4-1. Look for him to be flying late. The bet: Sam Houston, Race 7, $30 to win on 2-Morhawk.
That's all for today. Until next time, good luck at the windows.