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Friday's racing picks from the one and only Lou Monaco

The 15-day Bing Crosby season (in honor of the track’s founder) starts today as Del Mar Thoroughbred Club opens for its sixth straight “Hollywood” fall race meeting, which runs through Sunday, December 1.

Today’s 8-race opening day card features the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby Stakes for restricted 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares over one mile on the turf. The field of 9 is set to leave the gate with an approximate post time of 6:34 p.m. ET.

#9, Excellent Sunset (IRE), Flavien Prat, 5-2

Excellent Sunset (IRE) starts in just her third race of the year (0-1-0) and is 2-7-0 in 13 career starts. She has raced in three graded stakes races in her last four starts, including a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28 in her last. In six of her last eight starts, she has finished first or second, including runner-up finishes in four of her last five starts prior to the Rodeo Drive. Red-hot rider Flavien Prat is aboard for trainer Anna Meah. Excellent Sunset (IRE) will rise to her past performances and will win for the first time since an allowance triumph at Saratoga on Sept. 2, 2018. The pick.

#3, Poster Girl (GB), Tiago Pereira, 3-1

Poster Girl (GB) will make her 27th career start (4-4-4) today and her ninth this year (1-1-2). She comes off a 3 ¼ length victory over Don’t Blame Judy in an allowance optional claiming race on Oct. 3 in her last, which she desperately needed for her confidence. She is also looking for her first win at Del Mar since a 1 ¼ length win in an allowance optional claiming race on July 29. Tiago Pereira takes the saddle for the second straight time since her last win for trainer William Spawr. This will be her sixth trip around the Del Mar oval. Runner-up.

#7, Super Patriot, Geovanni Franco, 3-1

Super Patriot comes into today’s race red-hot, finishing in the money in her last five races (2-2-1), including a third-place finish in the Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, in her last. Prior to that, she won two straight allowance optional claiming races in the month of August at Del Mar by a ½ and two lengths. She has won three straight here and comes into the race in great form for jockey Geovanni Franco and trainer Richard Baltas. A serious threat. Contender.

#1, La Sardane (FR), Mike Smith, 6-1

La Sardane (FR) is 5-3-1 in 16 career starts and is looking for her first in the money showing this year in her fourth start today. Five of her last seven races have been in graded stakes company, highlighted by a neck win over Faypien in the $200,000 Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7, 2018. Mike Smith has the mount for trainer Neil Drysdale and is always a threat. In the mix.

PICKS: 9-3-7-1


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