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Homeracing

Sam Houston: We have a problem; you don't race enough

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

March 14th, 2017

A poker friend of mine is fond of saying, "Play where you run good," and that advice can certainly apply to horse racing.

While I almost always succumb to Saratoga Race Course's siren song and play the races there more than I should given my (lack of) success there, I do try to pay special attention to my track stats.

Sam Houston topped the list last year, and I'm having a good meet again this year, posting a +12.07% ROI (a noticable difference from my -7.68% year-to-date (through March 13) ROI. It will take another big score to get me into last year's tripled-my-money territory, but I'm going to give it a shot because last year's "big score" actually came on closing day, which is today at the Houston oval.

How do I approach wagering at Sam Houston? It's the type of track where I like to have a really strong opinion and build around it. This may seem obvious, but there is an alternative, and that's to be more tolerant of caveman-type plays. Those don't work for me at Sam Houston where favorites can be relied upon. As the charts show below, when you have favorites winning at a 37% clip and Steve Asmussen among the hot trainers, you know there will be some short prices. The key there is some, as getting creative at the right time (first-time starters have been especially potent this meeting) can turn the sure-thing 4-to-5 into 10- or even 20-to-1 with the right ticket structure/opinions.

The blueprint for today's ticket structure is below with opinions on all 11 races. Pick 5s start in races 1 & 7 with Pick 4s in races 2 & 8. Rolling Pick 3s throughout the card. The featured 6th race--the $50,000 Star of Texas--is not a part of any Pick 4 or 5.

SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK AT A GLANCE
Avg. Winning Odds: 4.42 - 1
Favorite Win%: 37%, Favorite Itm%: 68%
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta 65.63
Daily Double 72.06
Trifecta 406.24
Pick 3 405.04
Superfecta 2,381.91
Pick 4 2,289.80
Pick 5 5,131.94
Super High Five 12,011.49
Z-5 Super Hi-5 25,956.55
TRACK BIAS MEET(01/20 - 03/13)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
5.0fDirt 14 50% E Mid/Out  
6.0fDirt 77 40% E Inside  
1 MileDirt 15 53% E Rail/Ins  
1m 70yDirt 37 46% E Outside  
Turf Sprint 31 29% E/P Rail  
Turf Routes 45 18% P Middle  
TRACK BIAS WEEK(03/07 - 03/13)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
5.0fDirt 5 60% E Rail  
6.0fDirt 10 50% E Middle  
1 MileDirt 5 40% E Rail/Ins  
1m 70yDirt 5 20% E/P Rail/Ins  
Turf Sprint 2 0% E/P Middle  
Turf Routes 1 0% S Inside  
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
HOT TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'16-' 17
Win%
Asmussen Steven M. 17 7 4 2 2.66 5 20%
Calhoun W. Bret 16 6 2 2 4.01 3 21%
Craddock Kari 8 3 2 0 6.86 0 17%
Loza, Jr. Efren 2 2 0 0 0.70 2 30%
Smith Dewey Paul 5 2 0 1 16.20 0 13%
Barton Amanda 6 2 0 0 27.25 1 14%
Milligan Allen 6 2 2 0 3.73 0 10%
HOT JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'16-' 17
Win%
Parker Deshawn L. 23 9 3 1 4.62 6 25%
Diego Iram Vargas 23 8 4 4 6.73 6 21%
COLD TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'16-' 17
Win%
Gonzalez Isai V. 13 0 2 2 22.76 1 11%
COLD JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'16-' 17
Win%
Pivaral Gerber 13 0 0 2 28.30 0 6%

ABC grid:

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