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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Saturday, Dec. 16


Best Value: BANKER’S ISLAND (4)

FIRST: New Moon was a front-running winner in last at Laurel and projects as the main speed once again. Shadow Rider packs potent kick but owns five seconds and two thirds from last seven starts; lacks will to win? Scarf It Down consistently delivers strong efforts; must consider.

SECOND: Leah’s Dream is speedy and looms the dominant front-runner. Derval was a hard-charging maiden winner in last and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Carry Your Heels drops and moves o dirt; wake-up potential.

THIRD: Town Tart logged three tight works since speed and fade in first start since 15-month layoff last time; tighter today. Maddizaskar tallied swift final fraction when a game second in last; very dangerous. Full House is firing bullets for first start in 50 days; more than good enough on best.

FOURTH: Banker’s Island is training with a purpose for potent layoff barn (Michael Dilger); throw deep in wide-open maiden field. It’s Hot Out has finished second at short odds in last two starts; continues trend? Beyond Honor was a useful third in debut; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Bluegrass Prevails was speed sharpened on turf last time; drop and cutback to sprint seal the deal. Bluegrass Singer is fleet-footed and gets class relief; very dangerous. Power Nap runs late and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

SIXTH: Puffery has worked sharply since clear-cut placing behind repeat winner in debut on June 22; primed and ready. Lady Moyne compiled eye-catching training tab for debut; could be the goods. Velma is another newcomer that’s working swiftly; follow the money.

SEVENTH: Lucky Town is riding a forward line on the numbers and could be sitting on breakthrough at solid price. Check This Out was a wire-to-wire maiden winner at Parx last time; very dangerous. Gorelli is fresh and hails from suddenly-live H. James Bond barn; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Miss Hot Stones left 13 rivals in her wake when breaking maiden by nearly eight lengths last out; more to come. Wegetsdamunnys notched two wins and a second in three starts at Finger Lakes; ready for prime time. Velvet Trinni is fleet-footed and could prove very tough if able to shake clear from other front-runners.

NINTH: Nominal Dollars consistently logs field’s fastest late-pace figures and should offer generous odds in wide-open nightcap. Are We Not Men, 2-for-2 at the Big A, gets price boost after decisive victory in last; big-time player. Spin Cycle drops and moves to main track after logging three tight works since last start; very interesting. Midnight Cello is a front-end threat on best efforts; must consider.

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