Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Friday, April 3 at Santa Anita

We usually don’t like to pat ourselves on the back, but if you checked with this blog yesterday you most likely nailed the late Pick-4 on a $24 ticket that wound up paying $258.10. These rolling exotic payoffs can be volatile, but when two of the winners in the four-race scheme are bet down to 4/5 and even money, you can’t really expect much. However yesterday we got plenty.

There’s no value in the Friday opener and we’ll sit it out, while the 2nd race isn’t much better. #2 Singita should be in the fray again but she’s been beaten twice recently as the favorite and seems to lack a winning punch. You can use her if you like, but the one to beat without question is #7 No Saint But Sweet, who drops into a claimer for the first time, continues to work well, and has winning connections. She exits three killer races and quite frankly should have this field for lunch. We’ll take the short price.

#8 Drama Cat earned a better than par figure when graduating last time out and rates top billing in the 3rd race. She seems to improve with each outing but really won’t have to today. Just repeat her last race and she’s back in the winner’s circle.

The 4th race is a fairly strong maiden event for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf, and the three main contenders are #4 Dynamic Range; #5 Questing, and #10 Egypt. All should be used in your rolling exotics. Dynamic Range had prep down the hill and should get serious today while stretching out to a much more favorable trip for Canani (strong with stretch-outs and second-time starters). Questing was nosed out in a similar spot recently, adds blinkers, and continues to train like a good prospect for Drysdale. He’s strictly the one to beat. Egypt, from the cold Biancone barn, shortens up after just missing vs. similar last time out and he remains well regarded despite being an 8-race maiden.

#3 Exceeding moves down a notch following a win in today’s 5th race, and that’s not normally a good pattern, even for a 9-year-old. The other main contender, #2 Five Star Thief, is taking a substantial class drop following a layoff and must have problems. We’ll pass the race.

The 6th race is one of the tougher Nw-3 events you’ll see around these parts. #4 Elysium Fields looked quite good winning his local debut for Drysdale, has trained in exceptional fashion since, and should be double tough on the one-level raise. #5 Victory Pete returns to the main track and a repeat of his Strub Stakes performance (third, beaten just over a length) puts him right in the picture.

We’ll double the 7th race, a downhill turf dash, using #1 Everlasting Beauty and #5 Expensive Art. The former must leave from the rail, not an ideal post on this course, but the Mitchell-trained filly has been freshened since forcing the pace in the Wishing Well Stakes last time out and this is a noticeably easier spot. #5 Expensive Art continues to train in sharp style for Cassidy, sports two excellent efforts over the course and should continue her improving pattern today.

The 8th race could be won by either #7 Classic Demand or #8 Crooked Smile and we’ll use them both in our rolling exotics. Classic Demand was nosed out in a similar bottom rung maiden claimer last month, shortens up a half furlong today and should be on or near the lead throughout. Crooked Smile drops again for Hess, continues to train like a decent sort and is the likely choice and one to beat.