US Racing Track Guide: Sam Houston Race Park

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler takes a look at Sam Houston Race Park...

What kind of racecourse is it?

• The main track is a one mile dirt oval and the turf course is seven furlongs.

Tell me something I don't know about this track

• This racing venue is considered the quickest growing race track in America based on attendance over the past year.

When do they race?

(Thoroughbreds) Mainly Friday & Saturday evenings/Monday and Tuesday afternoons January Through March - starting at 01:00 a.m. GMT (Fri); 12:00 a.m. GMT (Sat); 6:00 p.m. GMT on Monday and Tuesday. (Quarter Horses) March Through May.

Best Ever Race

Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic January 30, 2016. Forever Unbridled, with jockey Joel Rosario aboard, runs down defending champion Cassatt in the first graded edition of the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic. The event was restricted to fillies and mares, four-years-old and up, held over 1 1/16 miles over Sam Houston main track. Bred in Kentucky, this daughter of Kentucky Oaks-winning Lemons Forever and trained by Dallas Stewart has since gone on to be a multiple Grade 1 winner and recently finished 3rd in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Most Popular Jockeys

Diego, Iram Vargas
Cabrera, David
Parker, Deshawn L.
Most Popular Trainers
Pish, Danny
Asmussen, Steven M
Broberg, Karl

How to find winners at Sam Houston...

The Sam Houston Thoroughbred meet is not long, so there's always a handful of trainers that have specifically set aside an arsenal of runners fit and ready to make some noise from the onset of the meet. It's imperative that you know who these conditions are, and what their training specialties comprise of. Trainer Steve Asmussen and his layoff runners do exceptionally well, and when he reaches out to jockey Gerardo Mora there's usually serious winning intent. Karl Broberg clicks over 40% with first off the Claim runners the past five years at this racing venue.

Draw Positions

The inside draws (post one through four) going six furlongs are best especially when combined with a horse that has good tactical early foot. The rail is usually the best place to be situated. The middle or outside posts are best at seven furlongs or at a straight mile on the main dirt track. On the Sam Houston turf course, the rail and inside draws are best for both sprints and routes and posts 8 on outward are usually tough to maneuver and be successful from.

Running Styles

Frontrunners do very well going 6 furlongs over the main track, and over 40% of the winners are wire-to-wire types. At the seven-furlong or straight mile distance speed continues to do well, but the bulk of the races are won by "stalker" or "presser" types. At the 1 mile 70 yard distance a third of the winners are speed horses.

On the grass course speed is equally effective in sprint races and not as potent in turf routes where once again horses that can stay close or "press" the pace have a noticeable advantage.

When betting Sam Houston look out for...

Early or pressing speed-types drawn inside in six furlong dirt races. Trainer Danny Pish with horses making their first start after a trainer switch or after a recent barn claim or purchase. Both of these nuggets are 40% plus winning angles for this barn.