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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine

The Sunday before a Thanksgiving racing week brings us up North to Woodbine in Toronto, Ontario for the $175,000 Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, fillies & mares over 7 furlongs. The full field of 12 will go to post for race 8 of the 11-race card with an approximate post time of 4:43 p.m. ET.

#6, Xenobia (IRE), Nik Juarez, 5-2

Her three races this year (1-1-0) have all been at Belmont Park, with her last a 1 ½ length victory over Sweet Bye and Bye in the $200,000 Grade 3 Athenia Stakes on Oct. 20. Previously, she posted four victories in England since 2017. Up-and-coming Nik Juarez gets the mount for trainer Jonathan Thomas. She has proved well here since arriving to the states; let’s see if that continues as the morning-line favorite. The pick.

#7, Gamble’s Candy, Luis Contreras, 6-1

She has had six career starts, all at Woodbine (3-0-0) and has won two straight and three of her last four races, including a 1 ¼ length victory in the $100,000 Ruling Angel Stakes in her last start on Oct. 13. This will be her first graded stakes race of her career. Contreras gets his fourth straight start aboard for trainer Josie Carroll. She has had solid performances in her recent starts and loves it here. We will see how she does moving up and taking on stakes contenders. I think she will do fine. Runner-up.

#2, Amalfi Coast, Eurico Rosa Da Silva, 10-1

She has been solid all year with seven career starts (3-2-1) and comes into today with two straight and three of her last four wins, including a neck finish in the $125,000 Carotene Stakes here on Oct. 20. All seven of her starts have been at Woodbine.  This will be Eurico Rosa Da Silva’s sixth straight start, which includes all three wins. She arrives today in good form and can’t be coming into her first graded stakes race any better. Contender.

#12, Special Relativity, David Cohen, 7-2

This will be her 24th career start (7-4-5) and 11th this year (3-2-3), including six straight in the money finishes (2-2-2). In her last start, she finished second, losing by ¾ of a length in the Ontario Fashion Stakes here on Oct. 19. Back on Aug. 24, she finished third in the Grade 1 Ketel One Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga. David Cohen makes his seventh straight start in the mount, including both graded stakes starts, for trainer Norman McKnight. This will be her third straight start at Woodbine and seems ready for the challenge. In the mix.

PICKS: 6-7-2-12

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By Lou Monaco


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