Saturday At Sam Houston: Picks And Analysis By Chris Griffin And Fred Faour For Texas Preview Day

by | 02.21.2020 | 1:43pm

Saturday night's card at Sam Houston Race Park marks the inaugural edition of Texas Preview Day, featuring a lucrative slate of state-bred stakes races building up to Texas Champions Day on March 21.

Texas Preview Day features four stakes races, each worth $75,000, and it was added to the calendar as part of Texas House Bill 2463, which has given purses a boost during this year's meet at Sam Houston.

The Two Altazano Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and the Jim's Orbit Stakes for 3-year-old males return to the stakes schedule for Saturday's card, joined by two brand new races – the Houston Turf Stakes and the Miss Houston Turf Stakes. The new races for older horses on the grass were well-received at the entry box, each drawing 12 or more horses before scratches.

The Texas Preview stakes races factor heavily into the card's various multi-race wagers, offered at a 12 percent takeout.

Here are Saturday's picks by Chris Griffin, the voice of Sam Houston Race Park, and Fred Faour, ESPN personality and expert handicapper, with comments on their top selections.

Race 1
Claiming, Fillies, 3yo, One mile
Chris' Picks
3 – ALWAYS SECRET
Slow works tell me big run.
8 – Miss Pueblo West
4 – Seeing Double
7 – Curtseytothekitten

Fred's Picks
8 – MS PUEBLO WEST
Drops in class and should be in the mix.
7 – Curtseytothekitten
5 – West Coast Temple
4 – Seeing Double

Race 2
Claiming, 4yo and up, 6 furlongs
Chris' Picks
6 – VALID DECISION
Wide open race.
5 – Fearless Alex
7 – Grand Bling
2 – Megans Lad

Fred's Picks
2 – MEGANS LAD
Has been running on the turf but has run well on dirt in the past.
7 – Grand Bling
5 – Fearless Alex
6 – Valid Decision

Race 3
Allowance Optional Claiming, Fillies and mares, 4yo and up, One mile (Turf)
Chris' Picks
6 – CURLIN'S JOURNEY
Tough trip last out, makes amends tonight.
8 – Terra's Angel
1 – Zamzam
4 – Quinn Murphy

Fred's Picks
6 – CURLIN'S JOURNEY
Has been chasing talented runners; should like this spot.
3 – Lexington Grace
4 – Quinn Murphy
7 – Santino

Race 4
Maiden claiming, 3yo, 7 furlongs
Chris' Picks
3 – CLAYMANNSDREAM
Pish barn second time out is a winning angle.
4 – Swashbuckler
6 – Punch Out
9 – Don's Final Final

Fred's Picks
4 – SWASHBUCKLER
Should like the drop in class.
6 – Punch Out
5 – Alpine Empire
7 – Airedale

Race 5
Maiden special weight, 3yo, 5 1/2 furlongs
Chris' Picks
9 – CAN'T HAVE ENOUGH
Pish second time out – look out.
12 – Empire of Gold
7 – Revival
3 – Dr. Beets

Fred's Picks
12 – EMPIRE OF GOLD
Keeps coming close; this might be the night.
9 – Can't Have Enough
6 – Pop's Biscuit
7 – Revival

Race 6
Miss Houston Turf Stakes, Fillies and mares, 4yo and up, One mile (Turf)
Chris' Picks
10 – BRAZOS ANGEL
Will send and say “catch me if you can.”
5 – Herbs Love
3 – Eaton's Memory
6 – Texas Belle

Fred's Picks
12 – CORLUNA
Is a consistent turf runner who should be a decent price.
2 – Shes Our Fastest
9 – Too Much Irish
8 – My Royal Rocket

Race 7
Two Altazano Stakes, Fillies, 3yo, Six furlongs
Chris' Picks
2 – IT'S MY MONEY
Pretty competitive race with tons of speed signed on.
3 – Stillatune
5 – Brightest
1 – Dust a Flying

Fred's Picks
3 – STILLATUNE
Seemed to figure things out at Delta Downs.
2 – It's My Money
5 – Brightest
4 – Sue's Easter Girl

Race 8
Houston Turf Stakes, 4yo and up, 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
Chris' Picks
4 – REDATORY
Game and is one-for-one at the distance.
3 – Bonjour Baby
12 – Lethal Move
8 – Cowboy Bling

Fred's Picks
11 – MR MONEY BAGS
Makes turf debut but should handle the surface just fine.
13 – Easter Snap
2 – Sunlit Song
8 – Cowboy Bling

Race 9
Jim's Orbit Stakes, Colts and geldings, 3yo, 6 furlongs
Chris' Picks
5 – GOOD JUDGEMENT
Has faced stakes company.
6 – Gold Pilot
4 – Luckenbacher
1 – Wonders of Hislove

Fred's Picks
5 – GOOD JUDGEMENT
Dusted a nice group at Oaklawn and will be tough.
3 – Bubba Bling
2 – Cafe Gold
6 – Gold Pilot

Race 10
Maiden special weight, fillies and mares, 4yo and up, 5 furlongs (Turf)
Chris' Picks
3 – NAVAJO SCOUT
Improves this time out.
8 – Scattered Mist
2 – Mizzanna
6 – Peka

Fred's Picks
7 – FINACEE
Should be favored, but the 8 could have a say as well.
8 – Scattered Mist
3 – Navajo Scout
9 – Joy to the World

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