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

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome