Caleb’s StableDuel Strategy – Sam Houston 2/18 - DFS Karma
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Caleb’s StableDuel Strategy – Sam Houston 2/18

StableDuel is offering a solid contest today at Sam Houston Race Park. A $40 buy-in gets you a chance to take home $900 and build the bankroll just in time for the weekend. The Sam Houston card is tricky today, with a lot of races having relatively small fields with heavy favorites. Let’s take a look at a few of the interesting contenders.

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 Gulfstream this Saturday. 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

Good Luck Charm $7,500 – Race 6

While there are a ton of very heavy favorites on this card, I’m going to talk about a more affordable horse who I think goes off much less than his 7/2 morning line. Good Luck Charm is taking a massive class drop today after facing extremely stiffer competition at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. He was off slow last out and still ran a good race to pass half the field and get up for fifth place. He should get an honest pace to chase after today with the likes of Suppressor, West Texas Rain, and Tiz Life all expected to vie for the early lead. With a few of these horses appearing relatively exposed at this point in their careers, I’ll take a shot with a new shooter who should mow down this field late.



Mid Price Plays

Summer Sangria $6,000 – Race 3

Ignis is definitely the horse to beat in this $15,000 claiming event. She is ultra consistent and always runs her race. However, at the short price of 6/5, I think others are slightly more attractive options. The main horse I’m interested in is actually the other Asmussen runner, Summer Sangria. This mare appears to be going the wrong way in her form cycle, but I think the results may not be as poor as they first appear. She has done her best work going a flat 5 furlongs at tracks like Sam Houston and Gulfstream. Her last few starts have been at the slightly longer distance of 5.5 furlongs, and she’s been facing significantly tougher foes when racing in allowance and optional claiming races at Fairgrounds. She gets back to the right class level today, and she owns races from early 2021 that are good enough to beat this field. Look for her to come out of the gate running hard and hope she can hold off the closers late.


Value Plays

Good Scout $750 – Race 5

When playing the turf sprints at Sam Houston, it pays to watch how the races are won. So far this meet, 53% of the turf sprint winners have gone wire to wire, suggesting early speed is a huge tactical advantage. Good Scout projects to be the quickest of all in this race, as he’s been carving out wicked fractions while racing on dirt. It is a gamble as to whether or not this horse will take to the turf, but J.R. Caldwell and Lane Luzzi are some of the strongest connections at Sam Houston, so I will trust in their judgment of placing this horse in this spot. $750 is a cheap stab at a horse who has a live chance to steal this race on the front.


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