It's not often that horseplayers turn their attention to Sam
Houston Park in Houston, Texas, both of which are named after Sam Houston. The
only American to be elected governor of two different states, Tennessee and
Texas. To paraphrase Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog, ain't Nuthin' But a T thang...
The track and city named in Sam Houston's honor plays host
to six stakes races today with jackpots from $75,000 to $300,000. The big money
run is for the Houston Ladies Classic Stakes. A Grade III affair for fillies
and mare, four-years-old and up. A field of seven ladies will tackle 1 1/16
miles on Sam Houston's main track.
There aren't too many races run at the distance. So, we looked at
the previous eight winners of the Houston Ladies Classic to find some clues at
to which running styles or post draws might have an edge. Well, the first thing
we notice is that the public has been spot on. The post time favorite has
finished first (4x) or second (4x) in all eight.
There is a heavy pre-race favorite with LETRUSKA (PP: 7) at
even money. The five-year-old daughter of SUPER SAVER is likely to take on some
cash and it would not be surprising to see her at 3/5 by post time. Her running
on the lead running style isn't a deal killer, but it could work against her.
When she wins, she gets to the front and never looks back. However, just two of
the previous eight Ladies Champs went wire to wire, but they were both
If it's not LETRUSKA in a gate to wire trophy celebration,
then it's likely to be a horse that comes from off the pace at 9/2 odds or
more. The quartet of non-favorites to cash the Classic's champion's check
typically ran fourth or fifth at the quarter mile call and left the gates at
odds of 9/2, 5-1, 8-1 and 17-1.
A few horses fit that bill.
JEWELED PRINCESS (PP: 2 ML 8-1) will probably be fourth or
fifth in line at the quarter pole and has a solid record at the distance with a
pair of wins, a second and third in five. Winning is familiar territory for
this four-year-old filly, hitting the wire first in five of her last six
starts. She should give it run for her sixth win of seven in her third start
after a layoff.
UJJAYI (PP: 3 ML 6-1) likes to settle in third or fourth
early on but has struggled to move forward from there, winning just once in her
last 10 efforts. However, she appears to be in form at the moment hitting the
board in four straight. Jockey Rafael Hernandez will be hoping for some fast
early fractions as that's probably his best chance.
MOTION EMOTION (PP: 1 ML 7/2), FIGURE IT OUT (PP: 5 ML 15-1)
and SHES OUR FASTEST (PP: 6 ML 20-1) past performance route histories suggest
the trio will likely press the favorite LETRUSKA. Co-piloting hasn't been the
way to the Ladies Classic winners' circle. It might put them in the money and
solid choices for exacta and trifecta tickets, but likely to be losers at the
Only one left, and that's reigning, defending champion LADY
APPLE (PP: 4 ML 4-1). She won in this spot last year with her best speed figure
ever, by a decent margin. A horse for the course? It could be a tough order to
defend her title as she was in better form a year ago, winning two of three
before taking the 2020 checkered flag. She hasn't posed for a winner's photo
Using history as our guide, 7/2,3 and 2,3/7 exactas could be
the way to go. Trifecta players might want to use the same combinations with
ALL in third, just in case one of the shots hits the board.
Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.