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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, June 9

Best Bet: RAPID RHYTHM (8)

Best Value: EAST BAY LODGE (9)

FIRST: Delay of Game is training with a purpose for first start in 46 days; primed and ready. Malibu Stacy also is working sharply for return from freshener; dangerous. Genuine Happiness was a strong third in last; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Clifton Pleasure owns fast final fractions and should be aided by probable pace dynamics. Core Portfolio was a confident, front-end winner in last; very dangerous. Overawe can prove tough on an unchallenged lead.

THIRD: Rachel’s Temper loves Belmont loam and notched four tight works since strong third in last; rates close call. Know It All Anna also loves Belmont and is riding a two-race winning streak; big-time player. Making Havoc is speedy and rested; very playable.

FOURTH: Queen Pauline is fleet-footed and could play out as the controlling front-runner in first grass start. Tailoredforsuccess adds blinkers and has trained strongly since debut; very dangerous. On Leave packs solid late kick and gets the meds in 3-year-old debut; could easily take this.

FIFTH: Al Khazaaliya runs late and could be aided by added ground. Generosidade ships in for capable SoCal stable and owns fast figures on best efforts. Bradybend gets Lasix for U.S. debut; must be respected.

SIXTH: More Zen Tea has been freshened since hard-charging score on April 16; crisp half-mile work on June 2 seals the deal. Yakov is speedy, makes quick return and gets favorable cutback in distance; worth long look. Spooked Out also is fleet-footed and can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Pegasus Red could impact if pace meltdown ensues; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Harlands Thunder displayed solid late kick when winning debut; more to come. R Precious Stones pressed swift splits when winning first start; price will be tempting. Bode’s Dream also tallied rapid internal numbers when a front-running winner in debut; big-time threat.

EIGHTH: Rapid Rhythm made sustained rally to win last on Arlington Park polytrack and owns four victories on grass. Shrinking Violet needed last and owns fast figs on “A” game. Zindaya was second to a repeat winner last time; very dangerous. Mississippi Delta owns speed and should be aided by cutback to 7 furlongs.

NINTH: East Bay Lodge makes peak start of form cycle and owns fast late-pace figures on best efforts. Hello Don Julio is riding a forward line on the numbers; dangerous. Vulcan’s Forge was pace compromised in last; big-time stretch threat. Billy’s Kitten was a dominant maiden winner in last at Keeneland; be no surprise.

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