Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Thursday, March 26 at Santa Anita

The first baby race of the season is a two-furlong dash for state breds and from what we understand, the two most precocious juveniles are #8 Turbo Time and #11 My Secret Life, with the latter needing to draw in from the also eligible list. We’ll pass the 2nd race, a five horse maiden event, and skip to the 3rd race, a middle distance claimer for 3-year-old fillies that should be dominated by #1 Legs Eleven and #5 Twoformeoneforyou. Legs Eleven takes a significant class drop and will be hard to beat with a repeat of her good Bay Area performance two runs back. She lands a good inside draw and retains Bejarano. Twoformeoneforyou has improving speed figures and looks clearly the best of the closers. We’ll double the 4th race, using #4 Paloma’s Flight and #5 Victory Dancer. Paloma’s Flight switches to the main track and her good closing kick should be very effective in what likely will be a slowly run race. Bejarano knows her well. Victory Dancer looked good graduating with a decent number last time out and in a field without much early zip she might be able to control this race from gate to wire. The 5th race should have a very short priced favorite in #5 Magic Launch, who towers over this field on speed figures while dropping into a claimer for the first time. However, this class drop off a more than two month layoff appears quite suspicious. She could have run last week in a state bred maiden allowance event but shows up for a tag today while competing for half the purse. The Gaines-trained filly must have problems, but that doesn’t mean she can’t win at odds-on (which is what she’ll probably be). We’ll pass. We’ll use two horses in the 6th race, #3 Skippy Due and #6 Hoist the Sail. Skippy Date returns to his claim level for Sherman, switches to Husbands, and should be prominent throughout. He’s never been keen on winning, but in this league he’s a strong contender. Hoist the Sail does his best running on the front end and on paper he looks like the controlling speed once again. The 7th race seems to boil down to #2 Cause and #3 Fiery Trippi. The former returns to reality today after being overmatched in the Big ‘Cap, and if he bounces back with his best race, he’ll be a strong late threat. The latter should be on or near the lead in a race lacking in pace and is reunited with Mike Smith, who won on him during the Oak Tree meeting. The 8th race is a modest maiden claiming event and it looks fairly formful, with the main contenders being #2 Saint’s Crown; #4 Joint Agreement, and #5 Secret Potion. Saint’s Crown is a route to sprint play and with continued improvement could take it all. Joint Agreement is the likely choice and one to beat although failing as the 8/5 favorite in a similar spot earlier this month doesn’t really inspire confidence. Secret Potion has winning connections, gets blinkers, and is a “must use” in the exotics.