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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The NASCAR Cup Series heads for Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers 400. MIS is one of the fastest racetracks in the country, as cars are capable of reaching speeds of 201-205 miles per hour. Hopefully, we will see a safe race considering the speeds we see here. We will more than likely see a race that is vastly different from what we saw last here when the drivers utilized the draft to pass around this track. This year, the cars are less aero-dependent and will be much more spread out. The drivers will need to continue to manage their tires as they have been doing all year.

Last weekend at Indy, Tyler Reddick captured his second victory of 2022 in dramatic fashion. The race came down to numerous restarts where drivers would drive way too deep into the first corner and run into each other each time. This was the central theme of the race, as restarts pretty much decided everything. We saw drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney get swept up in wrecks in turn one. On the final restart, Ross Chastain decided he didn’t want to be a part of these shenanigans and took the access road that skipped turn one. This moved catapulted him to the lead with Tyler Reddick as the two battled for the lead in a two-lap shootout. When the dust settled, Reddick came away victorious and Ross Chastain was black flagged for shortcutting.

The finish of this race sparked a serious debate among drivers and fans alike about ditching the Indianapolis road course and returning to the oval in 2023. Personally, this doesn’t make any sense to me. While yes, turn one is difficult to maneuver, it’s mainly because drivers all decide to send it as deep as they can, not because of the racetrack configuration. It’s also a bit disingenuous as for years, drivers and fans have been saying they don’t want to see the oval and that the track is designed for IndyCar. If I had to choose, I would say NASCAR just stop going to Indy and go to the short track down the road at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We have seen so many great races there, and I think the Cup Series would be perfect for that track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds to this and what they decide to do for next season.

Kurt Busch will be out for the third consecutive week as he continues to recover from a concussion. This has been tough to hear about, and now there are legitimate concerns that he will not return to racing. There is a good chance however that 23XII could be saving him for the playoffs which are coming up.

For now, Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch. In his two starts the young phenom has performed extremely well, finishing 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indy. It’s clear that this young man can drive these cars, the only problem is finding a place for him to run next season.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Martin Truex Jr. By any other standard, the season that Truex is having has been great. Constantly up front, leading laps and just overall contending. Unfortunately for him, 2022 hasn’t been just any average season. With 14 winners and Truex not being one of them, he is on the playoff bubble even though he is fourth in points. While his playoff future maybe uncertain right now, there are some good racetracks he is going to where can easily get that first win, and Michigan is one of them. Over the last four races here, he currently has the highest average finish, the highest percentage of laps led, but no victories. I see that changing this week. Toyota and Gibbs have been fast this season as Truex’s teammates have all punched their tickets to the playoffs. Look for Truex to be next in line.

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