Playing the Ponies

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Saturday, March 9

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Saturday, March 9
Coady photography.

Here are my selections for Saturday. 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). I will be in the ESPN section on the second floor from 7-9 p.m. so please drop by and say hello.

FIRST
9-4-2-5
DANCE WITH ME BW freaked against better in last and should be tough here


SECOND
3-2-7-6
QUICK SAND AA did not lose a race in 2018 and should be ready for another big effort

THIRD
3-6-5-7
PAY ME IN PENNIES should improve with a race over the surface

FOURTH
6-7-3-1
FINAL EXAM might have found the right spot to graduate

FIFTH
4-8-6-1
ROCK HARD SONG showed nothing in last but likely needed that start

SIXTH
2-6-1-7
ETERNAL BLING fits well in this spot and can win with her best

SEVENTH
5-6-4-2
TURBO STREET will be a short price but will try to bring some long shots home with him

EIGHTH
2-3-5-7
STOLEN GLORY should flash speed here and might be able to go the whole way

NINTH
8-4-7-6
THE BULL chased a couple nice ones in last and might get it done here

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Yordan Alvarez is hitting fifth for the American League. Composite Getty Image.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game against Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Burnes is 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA in his first season with the Orioles, who acquired him from Milwaukee just before spring training. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes is an All-Star for the fourth straight season. He will become the fifth Orioles pitcher to start an All-Star Game, the first since Steve Stone in 1980.

Skenes, who made his major league debut on May 11, is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings. The 11 starts for the 21-year-old right-hander will be the fewest for an All-Star and he will become the fifth rookie starter after Dave Stenhouse (1962), Mark Fidrych (1976), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

NL manager Torey Lovullo announced last week he was starting Skenes.

AL manager Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas said Monday he has Steven Kwan of Cleveland hitting leadoff and playing left field, followed by Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson, New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto and center fielder Aaron Judge, Houston designed hitter Yordan Alvarez, Guardians shortstop José Ramírez, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

Ketel Marte bats first and plays second base for the NL, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Milwaukee catcher William Contreras, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm, Dodgers center fielder Teoscar Hernández and San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

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