PLAYING THE PONIES

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Friday, March 13

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Here are my selections for Friday night at Sam Houston Race Park. 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.

FIRST
7-6-3-4
UPTOWN WTF had a nightmare trip in last


SECOND
1-6-4-5
SPACE COWGIRL comes off a nice effort at Fair Grounds


THIRD
3-8-9-2
DON'T LET ME LINGER should move forward in this spot


FOURTH
4-6-3-5
GRAND TRIBUTE has a couple of OK efforts at Delta


FIFTH
5-9-8-1
PASSIVE has been off since June but has steady works and best would be good enough

SIXTH
1-6-4-2
MISLED improved in last and another step forward should get it done


SEVENTH
9-11-10-4
VALENTINE'S DAY should improve off a solid second in meet debut


EIGHTH
7-1A-8-6
THE REMAINDER has good early speed and could prove tough


NINTH
7-9-5-2
BOUNDLESS JOY drops in class and should get a good trip


TENTH
6-10-9-2
HECOULDGOALLTHEWAY is a Kitten's Joy firster on the turf; could be a good night for Sasha

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ROCKETS FALL TO WARRIORS

Critical takeaways from Rockets' 105-103 loss to Warriors

Rockets fall short against Warriors. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This wasn't the typical Houston Rockets-Golden St. Warriors game when Mike D' Antoni and Steve Kerr were having an offensive battle of wits. James Harden, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, was nowhere in sight for the Rockets Friday night. Although the Rockets are in rebuild mode, it was still an interesting game. The intensity was high throughout the entire game. Emotions between Stephen Silas and Kerr were heavy, as they were yelling and jumping up-and-down along the sidelines.

A series of runs and back-and-forth scoring gave a slight reminder of the old rivalry between the Warriors and Rockets. Steph Curry was having a tough game, but with 5.1 seconds left, he was able to create great separation from a step back and drained an incredible midrange shot over Kevin Porter Jr. It was heartbreaking because Porter played great defense on Curry throughout the entire game, with Curry only making 6 out of 22 shots. Porter had a tremendous first-half defensively on Curry and recorded an 88.9 defensive rating. Porter had a good feel for guarding Curry, he didn't allow himself to switch away from him. He anticipated passing lanes and ripped Curry a couple of times.

Besides Porter playing great defense, the Rockets played good as a whole. They finished with 10 steals. Their main technique was to switch everything on defense, and Kenyon Martin Jr. and Christian Wood did a good job. It's never easy staying in front of Curry and Jordan Poole, but if they could hold their ground for five seconds, it became possible. Porter did a great job at times by communicating on defense, so he could tell Jalen Green and Eric Gordon when to switch.

And speaking of Green--- he had a strange night offensively. He went 0-11 from the field but made two great plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of Silas keeping Green on the bench because of his cold hand, he kept him in the game for learning purposes. Green made an outstanding play on Curry at the 2:52 mark in the 4th quarter. Before that, he missed a shot from three but fought hard for the rebound, then found a cutting Wood towards the rim. Green might of struggled, but the effort was there.

This was a tough loss for the Rockets, but they are steadily improving. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last five games.

Up next: The Rockets face the Spurs on Tuesday night.

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