Sam Houston Race Park
Here are my selections for Saturday night. 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. If the races come off the turf due to rain, check out Twitter and I will update the picks. (These are the picks and format that are available on the free tip sheet at SHRP). I will be at the track from 7-9 p.m. in the special ESPN section so if you are out drop by and say hello.
DANCE WITH ME BW has an experience edge in this group
BIG BEN AA picks up Sasha and could turn the tables on RB TEXAS HOLDEM
COWBOY BLING did not seem to like the Delta surface; good record here
WAVE OF PERFECTION has been inconsistent but best effort wins this
FRILLY FRILL has a sharp work for debut and should handle the grass
PAULAS BUDDY seems to be better at this distance and might get it done
BLOWIN SMOKE has been competing on some difficult circuits
Overwhelmed in last, but ALEX'S BOURBON was sharp before that effort
Will try to get out with a long shot in MIDWATCH who should fare better sprinting
L.J. Cryer scored 22 points, J’Wan Roberts added 15 and top-ranked Houston won its sixth straight game by beating Cincinnati 67-59 on Tuesday night.
One day after ascending to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time this season, the Cougars (25-3, 12-3 Big 12) extended their conference lead to 1 1/2 games over Iowa State.
“We’ve got a chance,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “That’s all it is — we’ve got a chance to win the Big 12. That’s our goal. We’d like to win the Big 12 because we have a chance.”
The Cougars have won 21 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Cryer had 15 points in the first half and Houston led 26-17 at the break. He finished 7 of 15 from the field and was 4 for 10 on 3-pointers.
Emanuel Sharp scored 11 and Jamal Shead had nine points and 11 assists for the Cougars, who shot 39% from the floor and went 18 of 27 at the free-throw line.
“L.J. had a really good night,” said Shead, who shot 2 for 11. “I tried to find him a lot. … My shot’s not falling, but I’m not the offense. We have four other guys out there, so just trying to get them involved and be the best I can on defense.”
Viktor Lakhin and Simas Lukosius each scored 11 points for Cincinnati (16-12, 5-10), which has lost five of six. The Bearcats shot 40% and went 5 of 19 on 3s. They also committed 19 turnovers.
“I think our guys can really compete against anybody,” coach Wes Miller said. “I believe they can compete with Houston’s team. I think they’ve shown that in the two games (this season), but we've got to get a little better to get over the hump and win the game.”
Leading 30-21 early in the second half, Houston went on an 8-0 run capped by consecutive 3s from Sharp with 17 1/2 minutes remaining to open a 17-point lead.
After trailing 59-46 with 2:47 left, Cincinnati used an 8-1 spurt to close within six on a layup by Dan Skillings Jr. with 1:26 to go. Cryer made two free throws with 1:12 remaining, and the Bearcats got no closer than six the rest of the way.
“Win the game,” Sampson said. “This is not a funeral. We are 25-3 and 12-3. This time of year, the last thing you do is evaluate.”
Cincinnati: The Bearcats dropped to 3-8 in Quad 1 games and 4-6 on the road this season. … The 17 first-half points were a season low for any half.
Houston: The Cougars improved to 14-3 in Quad 1 and 2 games. … Houston won its 11th straight over Cincinnati. … It was the 11th time this season the Cougars held an opponent under 20 points in a half.
Cincinnati: Will host Kansas State on Saturday.
Houston: Plays at Oklahoma on Saturday.