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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks for the Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita

Early Sunday evening on the East Coast brings us to Santa Anita Park on the West Coast for the $75,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes for 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. The small field of 5 will go to gate for race 8 on the 9-race card with an approximate post time of 7:07 p.m. ET.

#5, Lady Ninja, Flavien Prat, 7-5

She has won three of his last five and four of his last seven races. In his last, after coming off a Grade 3 L.A. Woman Stakes win at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, the connections decided to try her in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint here on Nov. 2, where she finished eighth in her third straight graded stakes start. She loves The Great Race Place and with the duo of jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Richard Baltas, she will be tough to upset today. The pick.

#4 Mother Mother, Joel Rosario, 8-5

Today will mark her 10th career start (2-3-2) and she gets a bit of a reprieve after racing in five straight graded stakes races (0-2-1). In her last, she finished third in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes here on Dec. 28. Trainer Bob Baffert has Joel Rosario aboard and has another, No. 2 Flor de Lar Mar in the race. Baffert/Rosario duo will also be tough, but I just think Lady Ninja is too good to upset. Runner-up.

#2, Flor de La Mar, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1

Another Baffert trainee, Flor de La Mar is 2-1-0 in seven career starts, with her last a fourth-place finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita on Oct. 10. Prior to that, she won the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes by a half-length at Los Alamitos on Sept. 7. She is 1-1-0 in five career starts at Santa Anita. Drayden Van Dyke has the mount. Contender.

#3, Show It N Moe It, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1

She is a solid 6-6-6 in 27 career starts, but has not won since the Spring Fever Stakes here on Feb. 24, a winless streak of eight races. In her last, she lost by 4 ½ lengths to Queen Bee to You, who raced in Saturday’s Grade 3 La Canada Stakes. Maybe the last race will help her improve as Rafael Bejarano is aboard for trainer Edwin Alvarez. In the mix.

PICKS: 5-4-2-3

By Lou Monaco


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