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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks for today's most interesting race at Santa Anita Park

The start to the first weekend of 2020 brings us to The Great Race Place: Santa Anita Park for an $80,000 allowance optional claiming race (purse: $57,000) for 3-year old fillies over one mile on the dirt.

The small field of 5 will go to gate for race 6 on the 9-race card with an approximate post time of 5:38 p.m. ET.

#2, Savvy Gal, Joel Rosario, 9-5

She had only three starts last year (1-1-0), including a runner-up finish on the turf in her last in an allowance optional claiming race at Del Mar on Nov. 9. She won her debut in a maiden special weight, also at Del Mar, back on Aug. 11 by a ½ length as the fourth choice. Joel Rosario has the call for trainer Richard Baltas, as he sends Savvy Gal on the dirt for the first time, a surface that suites her style of running. The pick.

#1, Gingham, Draden Van Dyke, 2-1

Gingham comes off a solid fourth-place finish in her last in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes (her first graded stakes start) at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7 for trainer Bob Baffert. Prior to that, she had finished in the money in four straight races, including her first career win by 1 ½ lengths as the favorite in a maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on Oct. 31. This will be her third start at Santa Anita, a track she seems comfortable with. The drop helps as Drayden Van Dyke is in the saddle. Dangerous. Runner-up.

#3, Shanghai Keely, Tyler Baze, 3-1

Shanghai Keely will be using blinkers for the first time today. She has raced in three stakes race, including two straight at Golden Gate Fields, finishing third in her last start in the Golden Gate Debutante Stakes on Nov. 29. She did finished fourth in her second career start in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 3. Tyler Baze has the mount for trainer Ari Herbertson. Contender.

#4, Rare Find, Abel Cedillo, 3-1

She will be making just her third career start (1-0-0) and her second at Santa Anita. She is coming off a maiden special weight win at Del Mar on Nov. 22.Abel Cedillo is in the saddle for trainer Richard Mandella. In the mix.

PICKS: 2-1-3-4

By Lou Monaco


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