Spot Plays for Sam Houston's Maxxam Racing Festival

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

February 22nd, 2018

Saturday night's nine-race program at Sam Houston features four stakes and an offer for customers to get their Win bets back all evening. Players that opt in and wager at least $50 on the card can get their Win bets back up to $10 per race if their selections finish second or third. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Grade 3-placed #2 BLUERIDGE TRAVELER (6-5) looms a major threat in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup (Race 8), which is the most lucrative of the three open stakes. Though he only narrowly got past his first-level allowance condition last time, all except the Iowa-bred #4 NET GAIN (5-2) seem fairly exposed at this point. Blueridge Traveler appears to have further room for improvement and this is not the most distinguished renewal of the nine-furlong race.

The $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup (Race 6) seemingly has a handful of win contenders. #1 COUNTERFORCE (3-1) ran so below par at Oaklawn last time that the race looks like a tossout. The stakes-winning Steve Asmussen charge won for fun in a Remington allowance two back, and might get a quick enough pace here to set up a winning rally.

The $50,000 Jersey Lilly (Race 7) for fillies and mares might be the scene of #2 PROUD REUNION's (2-1) first stakes win. The Tom Proctor trainee was overmatched in graded company last fall in the Commonwealth Oaks (G3) and Mrs. Revere (G2), but faces easier here and exits a solid second in allowance company to a rival that came back to place last weekend in a stakes at Fair Grounds. #7 STORMQUILITY (7-2), the 2017 Jersey Lilly winner, is a versatile sort who rebounded from a lackluster run in the $50,000 Houston Distaff to win an allowance prep for this and is again a major factor.