Racing Festival

Sam Houston Race Park picks for Jan. 27 with bonus pick 4 play

Midnight Bisou comes to town. Kentuckyderby.com.

Here are my selections for Sunday afternoon's racing festival. 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). I will be at the track today so swing by and say hello and will be happy to discuss the races. (At the bottom you will find a play for the all stakes pick 4).

FIRST

2-5-1-6

DAUNTLESS PRINCE struggled in last but prior efforts put him right there

SECOND

9-2-8-5
BOTSWANA's debut on turf was solid and could easily win with a similar effort

THIRD

8-10-5-2
ALL ABOUT VOODOO comes off a nice win in Okla. and this is a sensible spot

FOURTH

6-5-3-1
HIGH CLASS TASTE is in sharp form and should be in the mix

FIFTH

12-1-3-7
HIGHWAY SONG will be a nice price and could surprise

SIXTH

9-8-10-3
LATENT REVENGE should be on the early lead and will have to be caught

SEVENTH

7-2-5-1
LEADEM IN KEN has been in the mix at tracks all over the country

EIGHTH

4-8-6-2
BIGGER PICTURE has not won since taking this race last year but has been close vs. tougher

NINTH

7-6-2-3
MIDNIGHT BISOU was one of the best 3YO fillies in the country last year and looks tough

TENTH

3-4-8-9
SUSIE BEE has been close in recent starts and could break through

It is going to be hard to get rich of the late pick four, which starts in Race 7, because there are two heavy favorites in the sequence; Bigger Picture in the eighth and Midnight Bisou in the ninth. Hard to see many scenarios where Midnight Bisou loses, so we will try to pick up some prices elsewhere. In Race 7, we will use the 1-2-4-5-7. In Race 8, we will use Bigger Picture but take three shots at beating him. So the horses are 2-4-6-8. In the ninth we will single Midnight Bisou (7). If you want to take a shot at beating her, the 6 horse is the only one I can see pulling it off. In the last we will go five deep with the 3-4-8-9-10.

For .50, that will be a $50 ticket. If you want to narrow the price down just go 4-8 in the eight. That will cut the cost in half.

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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