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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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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