Overcast 55° Good Afternoon
Overcast 55° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, June 23


Best Bet: GREYJOY (5)

Best Value: MAH JONG MADNESS (7)

FIRST: Doctor Dempsey is speedy and training sharply for first start since March; call in tricky opener. Imslopokerodriguez also is fleet-footed and working with a purpose for return from three-month layoff; dangerous. Mighty Zealous runs late and could be in the garden spot if top pair engage in front-end duel.

SECOND: Appealing Miss was second to a repeat winner last time; more to come. E Warfare fired half-mile bullet on June 11; follow the money. Double Mane drops and returns to dirt; price will be tempting.

THIRD: Shadow Rider is riding a forward line on late-pace and final figures; added ground plays to strength. Scout Leader owns speed, swift numbers and razor-sharp current form; logical, short-priced threat. Domestic Warrior was a convincing maiden winner in last; don’t ignore.

FOURTH: Bluegrass Rye drops to lifetime low after nonthreatening tightener in last; improvement predicted. City Gold exits same race as top selection and should be set for forward move in third start of form cycle; dangerous. Tracking Stock was third as the favorite in last; short price once again.

FIFTH: Greyjoy packs solid late kick on best efforts and fired half-mile bullet on June 15; set for best. High I. Q. Pete is speedy and makes third start since more than yearlong layoff; very playable. Porch Pounder also is fleet-footed and must be factored into the mix. Dahven With Dooley makes first start since gelded; worth long look.

SIXTH: Forever Plus took backward step in last after determined victory in previous start; rebounds today. Cap’s Vow was a hard-charging second in last; very dangerous. Undertherain is speedy and could prove very tough on an uncontested lead.

SEVENTH: Mah Jong Madness is being raced into condition and should be sitting on best in third start since six-month absence. Miss Chatelaine hails from potent layoff barn (Christophe Clement) and packs powerful kick on “A” game. Robillard is speedy and firing bullets for first start in seven weeks; must be considered.

EIGHTH: Runaway Posse owns fast late-pace figs on best efforts and should be set for breakthrough in third outing since five-month absence. Wicked Freud was a tenacious winner in last and should offer playable price; very interesting. Snake Oil Charlie was an improved fifth in last and owns a win on Belmont grass; price will be tempting.

NINTH: Bareeqa was second to a much-the-best winner in last; 5-furlong workout in the interim seals the deal. Spa Duchess raced wide in first start since nine-month absence last time; improvement expected. Weekend Hottie is 0-for-14 but is a late-running threat on best efforts; don’t dismiss. Stevie the Cat makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; don’t ignore.

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