PLAYING THE PONIES

Fred Faour's selections for Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park hosts live racing again tonight. Courtesy photo

It's Day 2 of the Sam Houston Race Park thoroughbred meet with nine races tonight. Here are my selections for thres card. These are not meant to be in exact order, but merely the four horses I think have the best chance to win. For beginners, I suggest exacta boxes with three horses, using two of mine and one of your own. And you can always pick up a copy of Acing Racing 2016 to learn everything you need to know. (These are the picks and format that are available on the free tip sheet at SHRP).

Friday night was a mixed bag. Not a lot of top picks winning but some decent long shots in our top four. Overall a C type of night. Like the card tonight so hopefully we will do better. Good luck.

FIRST

4-5-1-3

MEDIEVAL MEDICINE has had success over this surface in the past

SECOND

6-5-2-4

JILL'S FIREBIRD has been popular at the claim box and should fit here

THIRD

3-6-7-8

BETHYL'S ROYALROSE is back at a level where she could run her best

FOURTH

2-7-6-5

KINGS WISH comes off a nice score and could repeat

FIFTH

3-7-6-8

MONSTER might be able to get it done in this spot

SIXTH

4-1-3-5

AUDACIOUS ANGEL might bounce back here

SEVENTH

3-1-5-6

TE FITI should improve in start No. 2

EIGHTH

4-5-2-1

Venerable MAGNA BREEZE has been successful at this track

NINTH

5-9-11-1

MY GOLDEN AURA needs to improve but could surprise

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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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