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 Breeders' Cup races will be Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita. It should be an entertaining two days. There are only a few races I really like; due to work commitments and the World Series I have not been able to dive in as deeply as usual. However, I will throw a few opinions out on each race.

Friday's races

These are all pretty wide open. Keep in mind there are a lot of evenly matched horses, so shopping for prices is critical. So that is the approach we are taking:

Race 5, BC Juvenile Turf Sprint

A'Ali is an intriguing European runner who will be a solid price (6-1 morning line). He has had only one bad start at a slightly longer distance. Europeans tend to have an edge in turf races, and this guy is worth a play across the board or maybe an exacta wheel up and down with the field.

Race 6, BC Juvenile Turf

Probably a pass race. No. 12 Arizona will be the favorite and looks pretty tough. There might be more value in No. 13 Fort Myers, who finished just behind the favorite at Ascot in June. Might be worth a weighted wager, with more to show and place than win. Something like $10 to win, $20 to place and $40 to show.

Race 7, BC Juvenile Fillies

Another I will likely be passing on. If you must play it, maybe take No. 4 British Idiom, but the price will likely not be good enough to warrant a play.

Race 8, BC Juvenile Filly Turf

The Europeans should have this one covered. I like the idea of keying No. 3 Shadn (10-1) first and second with all the other Euros in the exactas - 1-5-6-8-9-14.

Race 9, BC Juvenile

No. 5 Scabbard offers the best value after a troubled second against the favorite, No. 1 Dennis' Moment last time out. No. 9 Maxfield will take a lot of action as well. Could easily come down to the 1 and 9, but 8-1 on the 5 is too juicy to pass on.

Saturday's races

The main event, with some really competitive races featuring some of the best horses in the world in the latter part of the card.

Race 4, BC Filly Mare Sprint

I like No. 4 Come Dancing, but the price will be pretty short, although Covfefe will take the bulk of the money. We are going to key the 4 first and second in the exactas and tris with 1-3-8-9 as we will go closer heavy in a speed-dominated race.

Race 5, BC Turf Sprint

Pretty much throwing darts at a board here. I do like the 1 horse at 5-1 and might look at a 1-all all-1 exacta play.

Race 6, BC Dirt Mile

Omaha Beach will be the heavy favorite off a nice win over the surface at a distance shorter than he wanted to go against an excellent sprinter. Hard to get around him, but I will throw in the 1-2-4-7-8 in boxed exactas and tris and hope for the best.

Race 7, BC Filly/Mare Turf

I like No. 9 Villa Marina quite a bit in here. Her only off the board finish of her career came at a much longer distance and she still was only beaten two lengths. Will play her across the board, and will also use her in exactas first and second with 1-2-3-4-7-8-12.

Race 8, BC Sprint

Mitole will be favored, but we will take a shot against him. The only time he was in a race with a sub-22 opening quarter, he faded in the lane. Shancelot all but guarantees that fraction. The key horses will be a pair of long shot closers, No. 2 Hog Creek Hustle and No. 7 Whitmore, who appears to be rounding back into form and tends to show up in big spots. So the exactas would be 2-7 with 1-2-3-4-6-7-9.

Race 9, BC Mile

Another I have very little clue on. Lucallan across the board is worth a play but not worth a big investment.

Race 10, BC Distaff

Midnight Bisou, who ran at Sam Houston earlier this year, has been a win machine in 2019 with seven wins in seven starts. She will be tough here, but this field is loaded. Would throw her in exacta and trifecta boxes with 3-5-6-9-11.

Race 11, BC Turf

Bricks and Mortar (9) is the favorite and has five wins in five starts this year, but this might be longer than he wants to go. The 5 and 10 horses might be viable alternatives, but don't expect much value. Probably pass on this one.

Race 12, BC Classic

No. 11 Code of Honor has been in sharp form and always fires his shot. No. 8 McKinzie is the favorite and has never been worse than second in seven starts at Santa Anita. Hard to get past those two, but if you toss in long shots Owendale (3) and Yoshida (5) you might get a price. I will also key the 11 first and second in the try with 3-5-8 with all in third, and 3-5-8 with 11 with all.

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