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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 2

Best Bet: BURKEY’S BABE (2); Best Value: MARRIAGE FEVER (5)

FIRST: Desert Affair overcame rough start to break maiden last time and owns faster back numbers; pairs up. Three Eighty Eight has finished second three straight times; continues trend? Paula’s Pistol logged three tightly grouped workouts since determined maiden score at Laurel in December; don’t ignore.

SECOND: Burkey’s Babe pulls weight from the field and projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Celtic Serenade is training with a purpose for first start since April and could be in the catbird seat if pace meltdown ensues. Tiffany’s Vision is another that would benefit if fractions get hot and hectic. Gypsy Jo failed as the favorite last time; vulnerable chalk once again?

THIRD: Combat Controller owns adaptable running style and makes first start since claimed by Rudy Rodriguez. Tiznoble tallied very fast speed figure when winning by more than eight lengths last time; bounces today? Praetereo will be aided by cutback to mile; dangerous.

FOURTH: Karen’s Gem worked three times since last start and now returns to more appropriate distance; primed for best. Solitary Gem failed to get the job done when 60 cents on the dollar last time; short price once again. Beyondelle is speedy and fired 3-furlong bullet last week; must consider.

FIFTH: Marriage Fever regressed in last start after fast-figured placing in previous race; cutback to mile seals the deal. Open Bar is riding a forward line on the numbers; very playable. Nominal Dollars displays a profile that’s similar to top selection (bounced in last after fast-numbered second); right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Borsa Vento fired 5-furlong bullet since top-figured victory on Dec. 3; more to give in first start since claimed by Linda Rice. Mr. Dougie Fresh is speedy, rested and could play out as the controlling front-runner. Shadow Rider consistently logs swift numbers; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Fox Rules logged three tight works since failing to handle sloppy surface last out; return to dry land is key. Pioneer Spirit was a fast-figured, front-running winner in last; ceasily could take another. Securitz was overmatched in last but is more than good enough on “A” game.

EIGHTH: Cantweallgetalong made menacing middle move and flattened last time and should be tighter in second start since five-month layoff. Beach Access owns speed and drops; very interesting. Banker’s Island makes third start of form cycle; must be factored into the mix. Mr. Skittles could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

New York Sports