Sam Houston Race Park Picks: Closing night ends uber-successful meet on April 9

SHRP ends a highly-successful '22 Thoroughbred Meet, and it is not just about the handle ... Check out some of the highlights, as this turfwriter readies himself to join SHRP-e Time on Saturday with track announcer Nick Tammaro!
SHRP ends a highly-successful '22 Thoroughbred Meet, and it is not just about the handle ... Check out some of the highlights, as this turfwriter readies himself to join SHRP-e Time on Saturday with track announcer Nick Tammaro!

Sam Houston Race Park Picks - Saturday, April 9, 2022

  • Race 1: 2-6-5-8
  • Race 2: 8-2-7-1
  • Race 3: 3-7-11-4
  • Race 4: 6-2-1-7
  • Race 5: 5-6-8-7
  • Race 6: 8-13-3-6
  • Race 7: 2-7-3-8
  • Race 8: 3-2-7-5
  • Race 9: 5-2-10-6
  • Race 10: 9-6-3-2
  • Race 11: 8-10-2-6
  • **Most Likely Winner: Tatanka #3 (Race 3)**
  • **Best Value: Sarcastic Tone #6 (Race 4)**

Travelling down I-45 along the Southwest Circuit is a glowing Thoroughbred experience, as you point towards Sam Houston Race Park! With low takeouts like 12% for wagers including the Daily Double, Pick 3s, 4s, 5, and the Space City 6, there is no reason not to bet! Here is your chance ... It is time for the track to close out its Thoroughbred Meet with a loaded 11-race card! Before we head to the track though ...

Over the past 3+ months there were a number of key victories for "Sam," beyond what will probably be a "record" handle. The track has benefitted from an increase in purse structure post-'19 with the help of the state of Texas, and that boost reverberates through this "Closing Day," and beyond. During the Pandemic in 2020, leadership dealt with as best they could ... a staff that was decimated because of hiring challenges ... but under Dwight Berube and Frank Hopf, the track rebounded with a strong '21, including a wonderful edition of the Houston Racing Festival. All Meet long, trainers from outside of Texas came to play. The Texas breeding program is getting even stronger, and with conditioners like Steve Asmussen, Brett Calhoun, Karl Broberg, Austin Gustafson, Robertino Diodoro, Ron Moquett, and many others ... the future continues to look bright! Since 2017, the jockey colony watched standouts like David Cabrera and Deshawn Parker exit, but saw riders like Reylu Gutierrez (who is now at FG/OP/KEE) and Lane Luzzi arrive. The pilot contest in '22 was even more competitive than ever, as regular Stewart Elliott and newcomer Ry Eikleberry have dueled to the last. That is good for racing in H-Town too! The horses and their connections were prominent, but other humans did their part ... Brand ambassador and excellent horsewoman Jessica Paquette, brought her sunny analysis and wonderful perspectives (and Tweets ...) down from the frigid north to Texas. Along the way, her absolute good cheer, plus a number of long shots she selected, offered us another essential equine dimension. Last but certainly not least  ... the addition of track announcer Nick Tammaro has provided yet another spark, just as Chris Griffin did in that position. With partner Trey Stiles, Tammaro is himself an NHC horseplayer and M/L oddsmaker for SHRP. He has put his own unique hometown stamp on the place ... providing credibility and just downright excitement to the booth. What a Meet it was ...

Be sure to join Tammaro and J.N. Campbell this Saturday for "SHRP-e Time," as our very own turfwriter makes his debut on the show! Should be a rousing discussion! Let's give out some winners! At we have you covered, including all of the final action from SHRP! It's a good time for some of the best racing North America has to offer. If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Do not forget to follow us on Twitter ... @Horseracing_USA ...

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 3: Tatanka #3, 7/2):

Trainer Bret Calhoun has turned in another nice SHRP Meet, and I liked this entry sprinting on the dirt in H-Town last out. Bred by Spendthrift by Goldencents, I know that bloodline speaks to going short, but I like the choice here to switch to the Connally Lawn. There is Into Mischief behind him, and “some” grass backers on the dam side too. Jockey Jose Alvarez has had the hot hand of late on the green, when it comes to routing, and I trust that he can get the job done at what looks like a square price on the M/L of 7/2.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 4: Sarcastic Tone #6, 4/1):

I realize that this gelding by Tonalist is not exactly a long-priced entry at 4/1 on the M/L. However, I am making an educated guess that this Karl Broberg runner will end up being above those odds come post time. In fact, I would bet on it … At 5/1 or higher, that’s an overlay, and worth betting. We have co-favorites in Scott Young’s Electoral #1 and Sarah Davidson’s Crazy Legs Hirsch #2. I actually do not care for either of them. Even though the Dallas-based trainer is probably readying his barn for Lone Star, I think he left this one in for a reason. His recent form is up to scratch, and with co-leading rider Ry Eikleberry on the dirt, this one has a shot. Looking at some of those runners he was up against at Delta Downs, I would not assume those were inferior runners … Tom Amoss’ Frosted Grace, for instance, is a heck of a sprinter. Tote watch time … bet this one at odds anywhere above 4/1 …

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #6 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 5: Dirt, 1 1/16th, OC30kn2x, 4+):

There are a number of races on this card that could serve as “spotlights,” but I like this pretty evenly-matched field of 9. Of course, the shadow of Steve Asmussen looms, as he wraps up another training title at Sam Houston. He sends the former Santa Anita Derby alum, Ottothelegend #6 back to the MT after he rallied down the lane to win an ALLW37kn1x on 16 March. His go-to rider Stewart Elliott gets the call, and it will be interesting to see how the Three Chimneys investment responds. I already know that I want to take a stand against him because even though he is well-bred by Uncle Mo, he does have a weakness … the current class hike. As far as a top selection, I am keen to back the Davidson’s Bizzy Legs #5. This gelding by Fed Biz was on the Connally Turf Course last time, and I bet him to the hilt. Carlos Montalvo chose to ride him like a dirt horse, and he used up all his gas way too early. Floyd Wethey is the replacement, and if he can set some modest fractions, he should be able to withstand a late charge. The class level here is 100% appropriate … time to get the checkbook out. A couple of other runners to use in your horizontal tickets include the other half of the Asmussen uncoupled entry in Aktulgali #7, Karl Broberg’s Pinch Assault #8, and Mike Maker’s old runner, Conviction Trade #1 (now w/J.R. Caldwell) … a turfer that has not competed on the dirt in 23 total starts. The latter is classy, and that warrants consideration, I suppose … Here is the wager … This race is going to be a blast!

Wagering Recommendation: .50 Trifecta Wheel, 5 w 1/6/7/8 w 1/6/7/8


Enjoy some racing from “Deep in the Heart of Texas!” It is time to close out the Meet at Sam Houston! Be sure to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!

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