PLAYING THE PONIES

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Friday, March 20

Coady Photography

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
1-5-6-7
UPTOWN SANDY GIRL is on a good run and will be in the mix again


SECOND
5-3-1-2
SARABI gets back on the main track and should fare better


THIRD

1-6-2-3
RAISON KARTER should improve in second start vs. winners


FOURTH
9-5-4-12
RIGHT LANE MARKUSZ should thrive with return to turf


FIFTH
4-7-10-3
MR MIDTOWN takes a drop off a pair of decent efforts

SIXTH
8-12-11-7
HONUS should bounce back off a dull effort in last


SEVENTH
5-4-6-8
DE CORDOVA improved in last and could take another step


EIGHTH
5-9-3-2
CURLINS JOURNEY was close in last; could get it done


NINTH
8-9-12-6
JO DEE'S ANGEL was solid in debut and could improve

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Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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