You should be over it by now. And if you aren't? Well, we've got the cure.
Sam Houston Race Park will open for live racing on Friday as the thoroughbreds return. It promises to be one of the best meets in recent memory, including the richest race in Texas, the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, which will be held Jan. 26. We will be writing much more on that next week.
The meet itself promises to be a fun one. The Blitz will be broadcasting live most Friday nights at the Park from 4-7, and of course it is .50 Fridays, with .50 beer and $1.50 wine. Plus it is simply fun entertainment.
(Don't know how to play? Pick up a copy of Acing Racing).
As usual, we will be providing picks on the races. There is a free tip sheet at SHRP if you are going out there. If not, you will be able to get them on Examiner.
Early in the meet, we will feel our way a little until trends and biases develop. By week three, the confidence level in these selections goes way up.
Here is how the picks work: We give you four horses. The numbers correspond to the program number or betting number. This isn't necessarily the order we think they will finish, but more the four horses we believe are the most likely contenders.
If you have read Acing Racing, we advocate trifecta, pick three and pick four wagering (buy the book if you want the strategies). If you are new to the game, try some simple exacta boxes. Take a horse of your own with two of mine and play a three-horse box ($6 on a $1 wager). Make sure you have at least one horse of 8-1 or higher in the bet.
More advanced players should use these selections as supplements to your own handicapping. Where possible we will mention when to key a horse and when to go deeper than four in your pick threes and fours.
With all that in mind, here are our selections for opening night at Sam Houston Race Park. Good luck!
DO YOU LIKE ME NOW has had a lot of chances to break through but might have finally found the right spot
In the first of what should be many Asmussen-Broberg duels, VALID CARMEN and DENALI MIST get a slight edge
Competitive group where any of the top four could take this. Slim edge to EXCHANTED
GOT BLISS takes a drop and race two back would make this one very tough here
COUNTESS CURLIN has looked sharp in two starts and looks tough to beat here
This one is pretty wide open. We’ll take a flyer on MR FACTOR at a big price
PLATINUM SONG had trouble in last behind ESSCALATOR and might turn the tab les
Another tough one. We’ll go with PATTY’S PRIDE, but plan on going five deep here on wagers including No. 6.
Throw the 1 in your wagers as well. JOYS PARADISE loves this track: 5 for 6 at SHRP, 5 for 28 elsewhere
FINAL SONG did not show much in first two and has been off but barn has them ready off breaks.