Sam Houston Race Park picks for Jan. 26 with bonus play on the Pegasus World Cup

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Here are my selections for Saturday night. 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). At the bottom you will find some plays for the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park today.

FIRST

1-6-4-3
RU MYSTIFIED ships in from California and has some good efforts

SECOND
1-3-7-5

TWO EIGHTY FIVE is a first timer from a strong barn

THIRD
1-5-6-4
FANCY STOCKINGS was close in debut and could be ready off the layoff

FOURTH
2-4-9-5
JOYOUS THUNDER did not run a step in stakes company in last but priors were solid

FIFTH
2-6-9-1
Strong entry should be competitive in this spot


SIXTH
11-2-5-6
KITCHEN BOSS is consistent and has a good record on the SHRP turf.

SEVENTH
6-10-1-3
GET THE BLING has been close in last two at Remington and could break through


EIGHTH
5-1-2-6
NORTH HULLEN has been in good form and should be in the mix


NINTH
1-9-6-7
BYARS MELODIE had a solid debut at Delta and should improve here

PEGASUS WORLD CUP

This is a really strong race and most of the attention will be on City of Light and Accelerate. This is the last race for both horses and on the surface it looks like those two are standouts. But you won't make any money if those two run 1-2 and there are some intriguing runners that could bust up the party. We are going to land on a horse the always shows up for big races, has missed the board once in nine tries at Gulfstream, and always offers value. No. 8 Gunnevera was third in this race last year and always seems to cash a check going against the best runners in the country. He does not win often, but four of his six career triumphs have been at this track. He will be rolling late and should at least get third and might do better than that. We will do a weighted win/place/show bet on him, where you double the place and show depending on your bankroll. So if your bankroll is $70, bet $10 to win, $20 to place and $40 to show. If it is a small bankroll, bet $2 to win, $4 to place and $8 to show. We will also wheel him up and down in the exactas: 8 with 1-3-4-5-6-9-10-11 and 1-3-4-5-6-9-10-11 with 8. We will also double down on additional exactas with the two favorites: 8 with 3-5 and 3-5 with 8. Good luck!

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Framber Valdez was dominant on Thursday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Astros came into this game against the Rangers looking to take the finale of the 3-game series, and they did exactly that.

Framber Valdez had another classic performance, pitching seven innings while allowing zero runs and four hits. Valdez also recorded 8Ks and 1BB.

On offense, it was a big day for Yuli Gurriel who bounced back with 3 hits after going 0-5 the previous night. Alex Bregman and Martin Maldonado both went yard, hitting 2 and 3-run bombs respectively.

Maldonado's came in the bottom of the second inning, giving the Astros a 3-0 lead.

Bregman's put the Astros on top 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th.

The Astros added two more runs in the 7th after Bregman singled to drive in a run, and a sac fly from Aledmys Diaz.

Heading into the 8th inning, Seth Martinez took over for Valdez protecting a 7-0 lead. That lead wouldn't last long after Martinez allowed a couple of base runners and gave up 2 runs off a pair of singles from Nathaniel Lowe and Leody Taveras.

The Astros headed to the bottom of the 8th up 7-2.

After a scoreless bottom of the 8th, Rafael Montero came in to close the game out in the 9th.

Montero gave up a solo homer to Marcus Semien with 2 outs in the 9th before shutting the door.

Final: Astros 7, Rangers 3

Next up: Oakland comes to Minute Maid to play the Astros Friday night at 7:10PM.



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