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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco tells us who he likes in Tuesday's Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course

Mardi Gras Stakes - PICKS: 8-12-3-5

It’s Fat Tuesday and the official start of Mardi Gras and that can mean only one thing - a visit to Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans for today’s $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes for 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares going about 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.

The deep field of 13 will go to gate for race 8 on the 9-race card with an approximate post time of 4:53 p.m. ET.

#8, Hotshot Anna, James Graham, 9-2 - The veteran makes her 26th career start (12-6-1) and rattled off five straight and nine wins in her last 10 starts prior to her last, an eighth-place finish in the Nelson J. Menard Memorial Stakes here on Jan. 25. I’m throwing the last out and think she goes right back to form. This will be her 10th start (2-2-1) here and I also love the fact she has four graded stakes starts under her belt (3-1-0). James Graham is in the saddle for trainer Hugh Robertson. The pick.

#12, Bell’s the One, Corey Lanerie, 8-1 - She has finished in the money in three of her last five starts, including a Grade 2 upset triumph in the Lexus Raven Run Stakes two starts back at Keeneland on Oct. 19. In her last, she finished fifth in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 28. Comes into today with a bullet four furlongs breeze eight days ago in :47.40. Corey Lanerie is in the saddle for trainer Neil Pessin. She is a closer and I like her chances to pull off an upset. Runner-up.

#3, Break Even, Shaun Bridgmohan, 5-2 - The morning-line favorite won six straight prior to her runner-up finish in her last, the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 31. She ran away with her first graded stakes appearance, the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3. Shaun Bridgmohan has the call for trainer Brad Cox. She will be there at the end. Contender.

#5, Unbridled Class, Colby Hernandez, 8-1 - Today marks her 20th career start (9-5-4) and is coming off a win in the Nelson J. Menard Memorial Stakes (see Hotshot Anna analysis above) her on Jan. 25. This will be her fifth career start here (3-0-1). Colby Hernandez has the mount for trainer Bernard Flint. She likes the track and she is another one that has not done a thing wrong in her career thus far. In the mix.

By Lou Monaco


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