Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Thursday, Feb. 2
Best bet: FANCY AZTECA (8)
Best value: STEADY PROGRESS (2)
FIRST: Vodka Mardini could capitalize on soft flow with stretch to mile. Chad Brown entry: Systemic Change and Reserve Currency are both training sharply for return from layoffs; you know the routine. Predicted logged fast number at the Big A last spring; must consider.
SECOND: Steady Progress displayed improved speed in last; class drop seals the deal. Star Attitude was an even fourth in first start since August; dangerous. Home School is competitive on best efforts.
THIRD: Striking Speed makes third start of form cycle; forward move predicted. Standup regressed in last after fast-figured win in prior; worth long look. Magnificent Chrome owns fast back numbers; price will be tempting.
FOURTH: Golden Purchase tallied improved internal numbers in last; call based on price. Mad Magic was a clear-cut second in last; must consider. North Pole was done in by poor start last out; don't ignore.
FIFTH: Just a Nyquist drops after willing third in last; more to come. Frosty Invasion flashed newfound speed in last; very interesting. Wine Goddess is a repeated failure at short odds; you've been warned.
SIXTH: Norgay drew off to five-length maiden score last out; pairs up for new barn. Big Venezuela will be favorably positioned near the front; dangerous. Amedeus Music could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.
SEVENTH: War Stopper gets confident price hike after nine-length win in last; more to come. No Burn, another last-race winner, could play out as the main speed once again; big-time threat. Treasure Trove also exits much-the-best victory (albeit at Laurel) in last; right in the thick of this.
EIGHTH: Fancy Azteca wheels back in 11 days for new barn after dominant maiden win in last; takes another. Bustin Hot, an uncoupled barn mate of top selection, also makes quick return after maiden victory this past Saturday; worth long look. Our Rosie Diamonds is another that wheels back in a hurry (one week) and makes first start since claimed by David Jacobson; be no surprise. Lady Shylock went to the sideline after handy score in debut this past November; must be factored into the mix.