Sam Houston Race Park hosts it’s annual Texas Showcase day today, so that means we have a full night of Texas-bred stakes racing to wager on! Some of Texas’ best horses will be making an appearance tonight, and we have some great races full of competitive fields. The weather looks beautiful, so expect a fast track and firm turf course. After reviewing the card, I think there are quite a number of heavy favorites who could be vulnerable and cost StableDuel players valuable salary. Let’s take a deeper look at a few horses below.
If you’ve been following along with us here at DFS Karma, you already know the gig. You have a mythical $50k budget to pick 10 horses racing at Parx today. Each horse has a price, based on it’s morning line odds. Horses who are heavy favorites will cost you more salary to use, but they also generally bring more upside. Longshot horses will be cheaper but do carry some risk. You will either earn or lose points for each horse you’ve selected based on where they finish. The short version is that finishing in the top 5 earns you 10-60 points from 5th to 1st, respectively, plus or minus some points based on the margin of victory. If you finish worse than 5th, however, you lose points based on how much you lost by, so be careful with taking longshots!
Below, I’ve outlined a few horses at varying price tiers who I feel are compelling horses to include in some Stableduel stables.
If you need a refresher on scoring, please refer back to our debut article that goes a little more in-depth, located here.
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High Price Favorites
Lady Ave $8,000 – Race 6
Despite costing $8,000, Lady Ave is actually only the third most expensive horse in this competitive affair. However, I think she should (and will) be the favorite when all is said and done. Putting it simply, Lady Ave loves to win. She has won eight of her last nine races, and 12 of 23 races lifetime. She always shows up, and there will be no guessing as to her game plan today: send hard early and make them catch you. She is admittedly facing some tougher foes today than she has been encountering lately, but I trust Asmussen to get this mare ready for the step up in class. Note that 44% of six furlong dirt sprints have been won in gate to wire fashion at Sam Houston this meet, further bolstering Lady Ave’s chances.
Mid Price Plays
Picknngrinn $5,000 – Race 9
Picknngrinn is a surprising 6/1 on the morning line in this field, but I think he deserves to be much shorter than that against this bunch. He owns some of the best TimeformUS speed figures in his last few starts, and don’t be fooled by the races against claiming company recently. Those Fairgrounds claiming races are at least as tough, if not tougher, than any Texas bred race running today. Picknngrinn has two wins and one third place finish from three starts at Sam Houston, and he now switches into the extremely dangerous Karl Broberg barn, who is 24% first off the claim. The big question mark for this horse is the distance. He’s only trying routing twice, and neither time was he particularly successful. However, he’s bred to get a mile, so I’m willing to support him here once again.
Moro Lingerie $5,000 – Race 7
Moro Lingerie ran a cracker of a race in her debut last month, dueling on the outside of a few runners before ultimately prevailing by a length and one quarter. That race has turned out to be quite productive, as the second place finisher Ima Sky Traveler and third place finisher Turn On the Blind both returned to win their next start. It is often said that the biggest improvement in a horse’s career is going from their first career start to their second, and Moro Lingerie doesn’t need to improve much to beat this field. There is a lot of other speed signed on, so there’s always the risk of a pace meltdown, but Moro Lingerie should be able to work out her own trip from the middle draw and may prove best in this field once again.
Marianna Queen $5,000 – Race 6
I’m going ahead and listing a second mid price play here since I really struggled to find any cheap value horses I felt strongly about. This race projects to have a hot and contested pace, with multiple need-the-lead type runners likely to set blistering fractions early. Marianna Queen is easily the best closer in this field, and she owns speed figures that are already good enough to make her a win threat if she simply runs her average race. With some pace help in front of her and a jockey upgrade to Andy Hernandez, she offers great value with significant upside.
Keep the Bling $3,000 – Race 5
I don’t really have anything against morning line favorite No Mas Tequila. She romped last out, and she is certainly the horse to beat here. I do wonder if that huge effort off of the 9 month layoff may have taken something out of her though, and it’s fair to be skeptical that she will repeat that career best effort again today. Keep the Bling is a lightly raced four-year-old filly who appeared to have turned a corner last out. While also making her first start in a long time, she also trounced some weaker allowance foes in her first start for the lethal Diodoro barn. The TimeformUS speed figure she earned is not that much slower than the favorite, and I think Keep the Bling has much more of a right to repeat or improve on that effort. She should get a nice midpack trip and come running late.