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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

One more win and they're in. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As they were at the start of the 60 game season, the Astros are a virtual lock to make the expanded postseason field. Unexpectedly, the only reason the Astros have a shot in October is because the field is expanded. Still, all they need is one win in three shots at the Rangers or one Angels loss as they play three at the Dodgers and the Astros are in and an absolute threat to win another American League pennant. This Astros squad is an average squad. The losses of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, and Yordan Alvarez combined with all their key hitters dropping off from 2019 make Astros' mediocrity a simple fact of life. A mediocre but potent team can beat any better team in a best of three, best of five, or best of seven series. Heck, a bad team can beat a great team two out of three. The format is such that the Astros will be the sixth seed among the eight AL playoff teams, so they will be the road team in each game of a best of three series at the number three seed. They could be headed to Oakland, Minnesota, or Chicago.

A couple of peripheral bummers of the Astros to this point disappointing 2020…

One, Justin Verlander's dream of 300 career wins pretty much died with the ulna collateral ligament in his right arm. Verlander's one win this year combined with zero next year will have him at 226 career wins when he turns 39 in February of 2022. That Verlander can then average 15 wins per season through age 43 isn't utterly impossible but is extremely unlikely. While cementing his Hall of Fame credentials, Verlander didn't average 15 wins per season from 2015 through '19.

Two, Jose Altuve's collision course with the 3000 hit club has hit a major detour. I'm not declaring Altuve washed up, though only apologists and homers would describe his short season performance as better than feeble. He's been among the worst regulars in all of Major League Baseball this season. Altuve's best baseball is behind him. If he can get back to 2018 or 2019 Altuve that's plenty good, though not close to 2016 and 2017 Altuve. Well, Altuve failed to reach 170 hits in either 2018 or '19. Giving him 170 hits per season for each of the next eight seasons (bet the under), Altuve would be within about 30 hits of 3000 when approaching his 39th birthday at the start of the 2029 season. Craig Biggio remained a lineup regular at age 40 only so he could get to 3000.

Texans face another tough test against Steelers

It's no shocking upset if they win but the Texans probably come home from Pittsburgh Sunday night with an 0-3 record. As only four point underdogs they should have a much better shot than they did against the Chiefs and Ravens. Not that that is saying much. The Texans were pretty pitifully overmatched by the Chiefs and Ravens, the faint silver lining is that they're the two best teams in the AFC. It's possible the Steelers are the third best team (I'll take the Bills but it's possible). So even at 0-3 the Texans' season wouldn't be dead. Just two years ago they opened 0-3 before ripping off nine straight wins and finishing 11-5. But just as the 2018 Texans wound up, this season's team would be a total pretender.

All five starters back on the offensive line was supposed to be a boon to the Texans' offense. The pass protection has been porous and now has to deal with a top tier pass rushing Steeler defense. Deshaun Watson has been his usual terrifically elusive self, but merely okay throwing the ball. Offensively, 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger has looked all right at quarterback after missing all but the opener last season with a blown out throwing elbow. Big Ben is not close to the mobility threat Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are, but the Texan D which has thus far been sieve-like against running backs will see two backs each over five yards per carry thus far in James Conner and Benny Snell.

At least the Texans will have no crowd noise to deal with at Heinz Field. The Steelers are 2-0 but have only beaten the awful Giants and the injury-battered Broncos.


Buzzer Beaters:

1. One game is one game but Bregman, Altuve, and Springer all homering Thursday night had to create some warm feelings for any Astros fan.

2. The Lakers-Nuggets series has been outstanding. Number of Rockets you think are watching any of it: over/under 2 1/2.

3. Greatest Bennys: Bronze-the one with the Jets Silver-Jack Gold-Goodman

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome