Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Friday, March 27 at Santa Anita

Today’s opener matches #1 Distinctive Afleet and #3 Lunch Time as the two most logical contenders and either one can win. Distinctive Afleet is shortening up in trip and we’re not keen about the rail, but the Ellis-trained gelding should be part of the pace in a field that doesn’t have a whole lot of zip in it. Lunch Time, likewise a route to sprint play, drops a notch and should be very effective in this elongated sprint. The Walsh-trained gelding is strictly the one to beat. The 2nd race presents no wagering value but it’ll be fun to see #2 Zensational attempt to carry his brilliant speed around two turns. With Phone Trick on the bottom of his pedigree he’s not likely to stay a classic distance but a mile should be well within his range. He may be as highly regarded by Baffert as Pioneerof the Nile and that’s saying a lot. #7 You Wood catches an ideal spot for action in the 3rd race, a maiden claiming abbreviated dash with little depth. The Cerin-trained gelding retains Bejarano and seems capable of producing the last run. We’ll pass the 4th race, a maiden dash down the hill that doesn’t offer anything of value. The 5th race kicks off the late pick-4 and we’ll use two in here, #8 Mud Sweat ‘n Tears and #9 Mark Set Go. The former takes a sharp drop in class but Rosario stays aboard for Carava and this filly should be extremely effective in this league. Mark Set Go stretches out again and should be on or near the lead throughout. The 6th race is a high priced maiden claimer for fillies and we’ll use the inside two, #1 Running After Boys and #2 Entabeni. Trainer Adam Kitchingman is superb with debut runners and Running After Boys has flashed high speed in morning workouts to indicate she’s fit and ready. The rail is a concern but if she breaks running she could be long gone. Entabeni seems better than shown and when she learns to break with her field – hopefully that will be today – the Sadler-trained daughter of Gilded Time could turn out to be a useful sort. We liked the way #3 Unworldly Heat defeated first level state bred company recently and she seems capable of repeating against an open field today. The daughter of Unusual Heat is thoroughly genuine and consistent and Bejarano should have her along in time. The three favorites figure to dominate the 9th race. #4 Number One Edition is a 13-race maiden and very hard to trust, but he has improving numbers and is worth using in the exotics. #7 Just Heat stretches out again and is better than his only route race would indicate. He can act with these. #8 Wolfgang is steadily improving and is overdue for a win. He has a short run in him and Rosario will do his best to time it right.