February 18, 2019

Top 5 Opening Day Bets at Sam Houston Race Park

Not only is January 19 my birthday but also opening night at Sam Houston Race Park where last year I made the biggest score of my life (by far).

So it’s pretty much a no brainer that I have to play there tonight. Throw in 12% takeout and a 10% winner’s bonus via TwinSpires.com, and there’s no reason for you not to play either. Here are 5 plays I’m looking to make on the 9-race card:

5. #8 Mumbles in race 6

It might not appear the last race offers much to like with a suck-up fourth at 59-to-1, but the race came back pretty fast against better, and 6 furlongs likely a better distance than 5. He also sports a win at the track.

4. The entry in race 5

#5 Alamo City figures to go favored, but the entry looks formidable as both will be more forwardly placed, and the natural 1 especially intrigues returning to 1 turn (6 1/2 furlongs at Delta is two turns).

3. #1 Altuveatbat in race 4

The lone first-time starter in the card is in with a big chance, as sire Etesaal fires with 17% of his debut runners, and trainer Danny Pish is 25% in such situations from his last 100 first-time starters. The field lacks any big numbers, so with a well-bred (especially relative to Texas breds), well-trained runner we’ll take a shot at 8-to-1 morning line.

2. Races 7-8 double

Of all the doubles on the card, I think this is the one where the most likely combo might actually produce an overlaid field. Both my lone “A” picks in these races are 5-to-2 on the morning, and normally chalk-chalk is a recipe for underlays in multi-race bets, but if this double is coming back 8-to-1 or better (2-to-1 each) then I see it as worth playing.

1. The Pick 5 (races 5-9)

With a 12% takeout, this is the best opportunity for a big score on any Sam Houston card, and especially so when there is a carryover (or on closing day when it forces out). As noted above with the races 7-8 double play I’ll be keying on my lone As. If I play my As and Bs except one of those As in races 7 or 8 having to win that’s a $320 play.