Sam Houston Picks: Trust Mindy Willis Runner in R5 on January 27
Sam Houston Race Park Picks - Thursday, January 27, 2022
Race 1: 6-1-4-2
Race 2: 7-4-1-5
Race 3: 5-7-1-8
Race 4: 6-2-4-5
Race 5: 5-4-7-1/1A
Race 6: 3-7-6-1
Race 7: 2-4-7-1
Race 8: 1-9-2-6
Race 9: 12-9-11-5
**Most Likely Winner: Mo Tap #2 (Race 7)**
**Best Value: Johan Zoffani #5 (Race 5)**
As they head towards Sunday's Houston Racing Festival, SHRP is ready for another week of racing! With low takeouts at 12% for wagers like the Daily Double and Pick 3s, 4s, 5, and the Space City 6, there is absolutely no reason to not be playing at "Sam." With the excellent John B. Connally Turf Course, great fields, and a solid purse structure, the team in the Bayou City is ready to trot out a fabulous Meet. It was some record-setting weeks as far as handle, so let's see what is in-store this time around!
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Most Likely Winner: (Race 7: Mo Tap #2, 5/2):
If you are not familiar with the training abilities of one H.B. Johnson, then you have been missing out. A solid conditioner, he mainly runs at Delta Downs just down I-10 over the Louisiana border. In the early evening, he has one racing at Sam Houston that should be a winner. Well-bred by Uncle Mo, Johnson has entered his charge in 3 races over at Delta. Those were tougher ALLW Co. contests than you might imagine, and I think they prepped him well to come into this spot. His speed figs have risen from the time he broke his maiden on debut, and the stretch out with this bloodline in his corner, should not be an issue. I love to see Johnson come over to Texas, and wish him much success in here … and beyond.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #2
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 5: Johan Zoffani #5, 10/1):
If you told me that I could bet on a Mindy Willis-trainee like this one on the grass, and they would be 10/1 on the M/L, I would jump at the chance. This 5-yr-old gelding by Zoffany (IRE) has deep experience, and can handle this situation, readily. I know he only has 4 wins over 18 starts, but I am undeterred with Alfredo Triana in the irons. Willis is a strong trainer during the Meet, and she does it right when it comes to treating her charges with care. Don’t forget that the gelding was 2nd just last week in an AOC. Willis sees something positive, otherwise she wouldn’t have entered him here. I am highly skeptical that her runner will end up being 10/1 … let’s hope I am wrong!
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #1 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 2: Turf, 1 Mile, MSW36k, F&M 4-5):
Over on the Connally Turf, this salty race for fillies and mares is going to be a tough one. It is restricted to 4 and 5-yr-olds, and let’s face it, anyone entered in here could score. The turf is a surface which promotes settling, rating, and those that avoid traffic troubles. One that should be well-backed is Danny Pish’s Suffragette #4. A filly by Constitution, those types can sure make the switch from the dirt to the grass. Pish has a strong presence at Sam Houston this time of year, and with his regular rider, Danny Sorenson in the saddle (per usual), it looks like a promising play. My issue is that when this one did try the turf (back with Phil Gleaves) at Saratoga, it amounted to some poor attempts. The class level is appropriate here, but maybe looking for a hidden gem is the best idea … In that vein, I like Ronnie Cravens’ new acquisition from the barn of Gary Jackson. Shouldaknownbetter #7 has some extensive sprinting experience on the grass at Gulfstream Park, and that also means the filly by Brethren has faced some good competition. Coming to H-Town should suit, and I like the choice of jockey Jose Alvarez. Off since November, and with some works under his saddle, he should be able to hang with this group. Appreciating the stretch out, I am thinking his price might actually hover around 4/1 … but you never know, these types do get bet down. My remedy … an ice-cold Exacta!
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 7 w 4
Enjoy some racing from “Deep in the Heart of Texas!” Best of luck on another run at Sam Houston!