Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Friday, Dec. 30
Best bet: TIMELESS JOURNEY (5)
Best value: EMPIRE RIDE (3)
FIRST: Hypnocurrency tallied fast late-pace figure when second to a dominant winner in last; call based on price. Vax was second in last two starts; runner-up again? I'mhavingamoment debuts after picking up the tempo in final two drills; could be the goods.
SECOND: Mia Bea Star wheels back in a hurry after strong third in last; odds should be generous. Tough Street owns speed and fast figures; for those who don't consider price. Juliana's Rose was a game second in last; logical contender.
THIRD: Empire Ride adds blinkers and drops; tight work tab seals the deal. Who Me was a sharp second in last; obvious threat. Provision owns four seconds from five starts; get the picture?
FOURTH: More Graytful is rested and could get the early jump with heads-up handling. Sheriff Bianco is riding a three-race winning streak; likely underlay. Pirate Rick is fleet-footed and owns fast numbers; right in the thick of this.
FIFTH: Timeless Journey logged swift final fraction when winning last; more to come. Toned Up was an improved third in last; very interesting. Frost Point owns fast numbers but has been sidelined since May; poor percentage play at short price.
SIXTH: Scilly Cay wheels back in a hurry after hard-charging score less than two weeks ago; pairs up. Happy Farm comes back to Earth after racing over his head in Fall Highweight Handicap last time; worth long look. Hero Tiger consistently delivers strong efforts; don't ignore.
SEVENTH: Repo Rocks was fast-figured winner in Parx stakes last out; price play in wide-open Gravesend. Beren, another Philly shipper, could prove very tough on a soft lead. Drafted packs potent late kick on best efforts; intriguing.
EIGHTH: Jerusalema gets class relief and is favorably posted outside. Poncho Song makes quick return (10 days) after even sixth in last; improvement expected. Masabeeh drops to lifetime low; don't overlook. Raffinity was a sharp second at this level last time; must consider.