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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Friday, Aug. 5

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Best Bet: T R CREW (6)

Best Value: HUNDRED YEAR STORM (5)

FIRST: Black Eagle is training swiftly and gets favorable cutback to sprint; primed for best. Abolitionist returns to turf for Christophe Clement; dangerous. Tracking Stock has finished third as the favorite in last two starts; continues trend?

SECOND: Shoot From the Hip wheels back in a hurry after clear-cut win on opening day; pairs up. Leitrim was a front-end winner last time at Ellis Park and owns faster back figures; very dangerous. Toohottoevenspeak is firing bullets for first start in nearly a year; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Bibbo has won three in a row and could be overlooked in the wagering. Kingslayer is fresh and owns swift numbers on best efforts. Stevie Q exits top-figured score on Monmouth dirt last time; likely underlay.

FOURTH: A Few Good Friends was second to a repeat winner in last; call based on price potential. Literata has hit the board in nine of last 10 starts; logical contender. Kate Is a Ten is the only member of this field with a win at the 9-furlong distance; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Hundred Year Storm was a useful fourth in first start since eight-month absence last time; forward move predicted. Rexy is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Gateway to Gold is riding a forward line on the numbers. Quanique was a solid second in last; must be considered.

SIXTH: T R Crew displayed improved speed in last after making strong late run in previous start; set for breakthrough. Tale of Mist is riding a forward line on the numbers; very dangerous. Happy Match could impact if fractions get fast and furious.

SEVENTH: My Afleet is fleet-footed and owns win and a second in two starts on Spa sod. Request was pace compromised when a solid second in last; dangerous. Xaverian owns fast numbers and packs potent late kick on best efforts.

EIGHTH: Splendid Gold bested a next-out winner when a game victor in last start; has a history of stringing winning efforts. Casual Cocktail won last two starts by a combined 19 lengths; could easily romp again. Know It All Anna could be favorably positioned in the stalker’s seat; must respect.

NINTH: Isotherm compiled eye-catching work slate for first start since January; call based on price in contentious field. Giant Run tallied swift internal and final numbers when winning Manila Stakes on Fourth of July; big-time player. Strike Midnight was just length behind ‘Giant’ when a willing second in last; right in the thick of this.

TENTH: El Botas projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Risetotheoccasion could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Thomas Hill owns a win on Spa sod and makes first start since claimed by Mike Pino; worth long look. Political Farce should be favorably positioned near the front in big field.

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