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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco picks Friday's Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita

PICKS: 3-5-4-7 (Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita)

Going out to the West Coast today to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California for the $75,000 Baffle Stakes for 3-year-olds over 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. The field of 7 will go to gate for race 5 on the 7-race card with an approximate post time of 5:59 p.m. ET.

#3, Bulletproof One, Abel Cedillo, 2-1 - Bulletproof One is coming off a runner-up finish in the California Cup Oaks here on Jan. 18. He is looking for his first win since a California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes at Del Mar on July 31. This will be his fourth career start here. Abel Cedillo has the mount for trainer Peter Miller and I think he will come through in this short, yet solid field. The pick.

#5, Phast Pharoah, Flavien Prat, 5-2 - Phast Pharoah comes into today’s race with his first win in six starts, taking a maiden special weight race here on Jan. 4 by 1 ½ lengths as the favorite. A start prior, he finished second in a maiden special weight race at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7. Flavien Prat has the mount for trainer Jeff Bonde. Runner-up.

#4, Billy Batts, Umberto Rispoli, 8-5 - Billy Batts has finished in-the-money in five straight starts (1-3-1), highlighted by a runner-up finish at 55-1 in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf here on Nov. 1. This will be his third straight start at Santa Anita, posting a third-place finish two starts ago in the Zuma Beach Stakes on Oct. 6. Billy Batts will be hard to beat, but we will try. Contender.

#7, Air Force Jet (GB), Rafael Bejarano, 6-1 - In his last start, in his only race here in the states, he finished ninth in the Eddie Logan Stakes on Dec. 29. I’m trying that race entirely out as he got a chance to finally get a lather here. He is looking for his first win since a handicap victory at Navan on Sept. 7. Rafael Bejarano is in the saddle for trainer Doug O’Neill and that duo is always tough. In the mix.


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