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Lou Monaco likes the look of an outsider to bring home the win in race 7 at Santa Anita today

Before next week’s highly-anticipated Breeders’ Cup Weekend, the final week of racing at Santa Anita starts today, highlighted by a $53,000 allowance optional claiming feature for 3-year-old and up over 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.

The small field of 5 will go to the gate for race 7 of an 8-race card with an approximate post time of 7:10 p.m. ET.

#5, Stop the Violence, Jorge Velez, 5-2

Stop the Violence has two of his last three (all on the turf) and won three of his last five races, including a ½ length win over Lil Milo in a $64,000 allowance optional claiming race in his last on Aug. 25 at Del Mar. He is one of two horses trained by Peter Miller in today’s race (No. 4 Blackout). In his lone Santa Anita appearance, he finished third in a maiden special weight race on May 12, 2017. Apprentice jockey Jorge Velez (69-12-11-8), who is currently third in the meet’s jockey standings (three behind leader Abel Cedillo), takes the mount and will be looking for something to prove as Stop the Violence is entered to be claimed Thursday for $62,500. The pick.

#1, Boa Nova (IRE), Edwin Maldonado, 8-5

Trainer Anna Meah looks to get morning-line favorite and expected pacesetter Boa Nova (IRE) his first win at Santa Anita (6-4-7) in his fourth start here. He won two straight races at Del Mar in a $40k claiming race on Aug. 4 and a $64k optional claimer on Aug. 21, both at five furlongs on the turf. This will be his first race on turf at 5 ½ furlongs here in the states. Like Edwin Maldonado aboard, but don’t like the fact he hasn’t won here yet. I think that streak continues. Runner-up.

#4, Blackout (FR), Abel Cedillo, 9-5

Blackout, a 6-year-old gelding and another Peter Miller trainee in today’s race, will be making his 30th career start today (5-6-2) and his eighth of the year (0-3-1). He has had back-to-back second-place finishes in two allowance optional claiming races (July 21, Del Mar; Sept. 6, Los Alamitos). All of his five wins have been on the turf and jockey Abel Cedillo, who was aboard for the Sept. 6 race, is back on again. That should help the cause. Contender.

#2, Ultimate Bango, Ruben Fuentes, 4-1

Coming off two sub-par performances both at Del Mar in his last two starts: 5th in California Dreamin’ Stakes on July 26 and 7th in an allowance optional claiming race in his last on Sept. 2. Prior to those two, he won an allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita on June 8. This will be his 9th appearance at The Great Race Place (2-1-2). Regular rider Ruben Fuentes gets the call again. In the mix.

PICKS: 9-1-4-2

By Lou Monaco


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