PLAYING THE PONIES

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Tuesday, March 10

Sam Houston Race Park selections for Tuesday, March 10
Coady Photography

Here are my selections for Tuesday 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. (These are the picks and format that are available on the free tip sheet at SHRP).

FIRST

1-9-7-6
BELLA ALICITA comes off a brief layoff and should be very tough


SECOND
6-10-5-1
TAKE THE OVER could offer some value in second start at this condition


THIRD
5-6-10-8
KING BLING should improve in start No. 2


FOURTH
3-10-8-4

SHIRL'S READY was flat in last but should bounce back here

FIFTH
1-3-10-6
ALOO GHOST should improve off the claim and be in the mix

SIXTH
3-8-1-7
STREET DAZZLE will be tough if race moves to the main track


SEVENTH
11-13-2-5
WONDERS OF HISLOVE was in the mix in stakes company


EIGHTH
8-6-3-9
PRANCINGMISTISSY usually earns a piece and should again here


NINTH
5-8-7-4
EXCALIBUR RIDGE has been OK in two starts this meet; a little improvement might do it


TENTH

3-9-8-10
KING PTOLEMY is always in the hunt here and maybe today is the day



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The Astros face Carlos Correa and the Twins this weekend. Composite Getty Image.

Houston Astros (45-42, second in the AL West) vs. Minnesota Twins (49-38, second in the AL Central)

Minneapolis; Friday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Shawn Dubin (1-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 27 strikeouts); Twins: Pablo Lopez (8-6, 4.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 110 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Twins -159, Astros +133; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Minnesota Twins take on the Houston Astros after Jose Miranda had five hits on Thursday in a 12-3 win over the Tigers.

Minnesota has a 49-38 record overall and a 25-17 record in home games. The Twins have gone 36-6 in games when they scored five or more runs.

Houston is 21-23 in road games and 45-42 overall. Astros hitters are batting a collective .264, the best team batting average in the AL.

The teams meet Friday for the fourth time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ryan Jeffers ranks second on the Twins with 30 extra base hits (16 doubles and 14 home runs). Byron Buxton is 14-for-37 with seven doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI over the past 10 games.

Jose Altuve has 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 39 RBI while hitting .308 for the Astros. Yainer Diaz is 17-for-43 with two doubles over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 7-3, .274 batting average, 3.20 ERA, outscored opponents by 23 runs

Astros: 8-2, .288 batting average, 2.70 ERA, outscored opponents by 29 runs

INJURIES: Twins: Royce Lewis: 10-Day IL (abductor), Brock Stewart: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Chris Paddack: 15-Day IL (arm), Alex Kirilloff: 10-Day IL (back), Justin Topa: 60-Day IL (knee), Daniel Duarte: 60-Day IL (tricep), Zack Weiss: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Anthony DeSclafani: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Jake Bloss: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Victor Caratini: 10-Day IL (hip), Justin Verlander: 15-Day IL (neck), Cristian Javier: 60-Day IL (forearm), Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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