Sam Houston Race Park selections for Saturday, March 30 (with bonus picks on the Florida Derby and Dubai World Cup)

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Saturday, March 30 (with bonus picks on the Florida Derby and Dubai World Cup)
Coady Photography

Here are my selections for Saturday, the final night of thoroughbred racing for 2019 (sad). 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). We also have some bonus plays on the Dubai World Cup and Florida Derby:

DUBAI WORLD CUP

Race 9, Meydan: Cappezzano is an interesting horse who has reeled off three straight big performances over the surface. Gunnevera is one of our all-time favorite go tos in big races. Thunder Snow won this race last year. But I am intrigued by Yoshida, who has only two dirt starts and both are strong.

The play: Exacta wheels 10 with 1-2-3-4-5-7-11-12, 1-2-3-4-5-7-11-12 with 10, and we will bet the 10 across the board.

FLORIDA DERBY

Race 13, Gulfsstream Park:Hidden Scroll was a beaten favorite in the Fountain of Youth, but he was involved in a wicked speed duel. He should be better here, but he also figures to get caught up in a similar scenario with speedsters Maximum Security and Hard Belle stretching out. That sets it up nicely for Bourbon War, Code of Honor and perhaps Harvey Wallbanger.

The play: Exacta wheels 4 with 1-3-5-8-9 and 1-3-5-8-9 with 4. I think you could could also wheel the 4 first and second with the same horses in the trifecta.

FIRST
9-2-8-1
LITTLE SAMMY SV was in tough in last but priors fit in this field


SECOND
3-4-6-5
OLETA INEZ just missed in last and should be in the mix here


THIRD
10-7-2-1
BRENDA'S FEVER was solid at Fair Grounds and will be tough here


FOURTH
9-8-3-6
BWANA GO has been sharp last three and will have a shot if form holds


FIFTH
7-8-11-12
ALPHA AND OMEGA needed last and has a great record over the surface


SIXTH
1-2-8-4
FOREST GIRL is in sharp form and distance should be perfect


SEVENTH
8-4-5-6
ALLITERATIVE should improve in this spot and could turn the tables


EIGHTH
6-1-3-8
STARFACE GUY gets back in for a tag and fits in this spot


NINTH
1-8-9-5
GOLD LABEL ships in from New Orleans and will be very tough

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These uniforms have to go. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

Major League Baseball will consider going back to having players wear their team uniforms for the All-Star Game.

Club uniforms were used by the American League from 1933-2019 and by the National League from 1934-2019. When the game resumed in 2021 following the pandemic-related cancellation in 2020, MLB had started a uniform contract with Nike and Fanatics, and All-Stars were outfitted in specially designed league uniforms that drew criticism from traditionalists.

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

This year's AL uniforms had a sandy base with red sleeves and lettering and the NL had a navy base with light blue sleeves and lettering.

“I’m aware of the sentiment on this issue,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday. "I think where my head is on it, it’s something we’re going to have a conversation about coming out of the All-Star Game. We've got a lot of uniform things going on. And, obviously, the conversations have to involve the players first and foremost but Nike, some of our partners. But I am aware of the sentiment, and I do know why people kind of like that tradition."

MLB and Nike were criticized for club uniforms this year and said in May that 2025 club outfits will have larger lettering on the back of jerseys and individual pant customization. Players complained this year that white pants worn by some teams are see-through enough to show tucked-in jersey tops.

Regional sports networks

Manfred said a national steaming package of local television broadcasts is a future possibility.

“I could see a situation where we grow into a 30-club model. It might start on the digital side, where you have 14 or 15 clubs, and, you start with a digital product there as your first alternative,” he said.

“I was in Sun Valley last week and I did the whole speed-dating thing with everybody who’s ever streamed anything. When you talk to people in the streaming business, they’re not really interested in buying the state of Wisconsin and two counties in Michigan," Manfred added. "They want to be able to stream quite frankly, all over the U.S. and Canada but more broadly internationally. So I think those conversations are a product of owners saying, holy cow, the RSN business is really deteriorating. We know the future’s going to be streaming. What we’re hearing from the streamers is they want a more national product, and we need to be responsive to what people want to buy.”

MLB took over production of Arizona and San Diego local television broadcasts last year following the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports’ Bally networks and said MLB will be available as an option for teams looking for new deals. He said Padres game are approaching 40,000 subscribers, which he called a good figure.

“Having said that, from a revenue perspective it is not generating what the RSNs did," Manfred said. "The RSNs were a great business. Lots of people paid for programing they didn’t necessarily want. And it’s hard to replicate that kind of revenue absent that kind of bundling concept.”

Offense

While offense is near half-century lows, it has picked up from early in the season.

“The decline in offense is something that we’re paying a lot of attention to and we’ll continue to monitor to make a decision as to whether we think we need to do something. You do hear a lot of chatter about the dominance of pitching in the game. That’s absolutely true.”

Birmingham

After the success of the June 20 game between San Francisco and St. Louis at Rickwood Field, Manfred said MLB will return to the ballpark in Birmingham, Alabama, but the “exact form” had not been determined.

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