Sam Houston Picks: Match-up, Lady Ave v. First Empress in R4 on March 2
Sam Houston Race Park Picks - Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Race 1: 1-5-6-4
Race 2: 7-1-5-6
Race 3: 7-4-3-8
Race 4: 1/1A-5-7-4
Race 5: 7-3-4-5
Race 6: 2-3-6-5
Race 7: 4-7-2-6
Race 8: 4-1-6-3
Race 9: 1-3-8-6
**Most Likely Winner: Circle Back Girl #7 (Race 2)**
**Best Value: Imabadger #4 (Race 7)**
You must play Sam ... 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. SHRP has at its disposal the well-tended John B. Connally Turf Course. In addition to great fields and a solid purse structure, they are now running 4 days a week until early April. The team at Sam Houston is carding out another incredible Meet.
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Most Likely Winner: (Race 2: Circle Back Girl #7, 8/5):
Danny Caldwell was the leading owner once again during Remington Park’s 2021 Meet. His success has yet to translate to Sam Houston though. In 44 starts during the SHRP Meet, he only has 3 wins. In his defense, 8 seconds and 3 third place finishes are not too shabby. The point is, he has the ability to get hot at any time. His go-to trainer onsite, Martin Villafranco, does too. In this Non-winners of 2 “Claiming Game” race for 3-yr-old fillies, these connections have the winner. An Oklahoma bred by Carpe Diem, their entry is dropping out of much tougher company (AOC50k). This probably is the right level, and it will help that Floyd Wethey Jr. once again gets the call. Caldwell has the ability to catchup quickly, especially with a good size string of runners on hand. This one is getting claimed btw … betcha …
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #7
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 7: Imabadger #4, 12/1):
If you are after a major dose of value on this Wednesday card, then look no further than this mare by Preferred Issue that is bred, owned, and trained by Dallas Keen (4/17 24% @Sam ‘22). She is lightly-raced (to say the least) for her age (5-yrs-old), and was impressive sprinting on debut last time at SHRP on 16 February. Keen rolls her back quickly, and that is a sign of confidence. I know Rodolfo Guerra does not get the opportunity to ride on the green all that often, but when he gets together with Green, they can do some damage. Ratcheting up in class from a MSW36k into this spot will not be easy, but this field is not the toughest in my opinion … layoff runners, poor ALLW Co. efforts, and such, just litter this race. Let’s take a shot …
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #4 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 4: Dirt, 7F, St.Opt.Clm10k, F&M 4+):
To my eye, the “feature” race on the Wednesday late afternoon card is this race … a Starter OC for older females. Starting deep from the backstretch chute, it is once again going to be a hoof-to-hoof match between Steve Asmussen (21 wins) and Karl Broberg (25 wins). The 2 trainers are once again dueling for the conditioning title, and it is currently a tight race. Asmussen has an uncoupled entry in this spot, with one half being the ever-dependable Lady Ave #5. The Texas bred by Bind has only lost 1 time since she ran at the Remington Meet back in late August. That is an impressive 7 wins total. Her last out score in an ALLW37k was another brilliant short-priced victory. Ridden by Stewart Elliott (2nd in the jockey standings at the Meet), she has that dangerous kick that can be unleashed at any point. Taking her on in a spot like this one might not seem sensible, but when I saw his adversary, Broberg, entering with the coupled entry of First Empress #1 and Factual #1A, I realized we are going to have quite a match. Both of these runners have different attributes … the former continues to work well, and has a pair of wins already around the Sam oval. The latter is moving down from AOC country, after some less than stellar performances. Let’s not forget though, that this filly was excellent up in OKC, and has the ability to be tactical. With Ry Eikleberry out, the Dallas-based trainer turns to ace rider Rey Gutierrez, who is having quite a renaissance since he rode at the ’21 Meet. His year was capped by his 1st “grade stakes” win, which led to a Breeders’ Cup appearance at Del Mar. Broberg has options to scratch one of these entries … and he very well could do that. I like either of these females, and think they have a definite chance to upset Asmussen’s ace. Here is the play … what a race this is going to be!
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 1/1A over 5
Enjoy some racing from “Deep in the Heart of Texas!” Best of luck on another run at Sam Houston! Be sure to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!