Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Monday, Dec. 31

Best bet: BEACHSIDE (7)

Best value: THAT'S SMART (6)

FIRST: Tied Up is fleet-footed and projects as the main speed in compact field. Summer Punch tallied fast late-pace figure when besting pricier last time; very dangerous. Cognac Cutie makes third start of form cycle; don't ignore.

SECOND: Bettor Bank On It was dq'd after determined, front-end score in last; "winner" versus maidens. Bank Gala was compromised by wide trip in debut; dangerous at longer distance. Captain Frost should improve in second start for Linda Rice; must consider.

THIRD: Theodosia returns to dirt and drops to lifetime low; call based on price potential. Orchid Party is speedy and owns four wins on Big A's main track; dangerous. Karen's Gem is riding a forward line on the numbers; very interesting.

FOURTH: Jacqueline D owns sprinter's speed and could secure unchallenged lead in a field that's light on front-runners. Mazmania wheels back in a hurry (10 days) and gets class relief; big-time threat. Lolli was victimized by bad start last time; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Eliav compiled six tight works for first start in 57 days; call in field that's jammed with newcomers. Gallant Bid makes first start for Linda Rice after firing crisp half-mile drill in final work; dangerous. Chronos is training with a purpose for debut for Danny Gargan; follow the money.

SIXTH: That's Smart tallied rapid late-pace figure when a hard-charging maiden winner in last; pairs up. Exceed the Goal also logged swift final fraction when winning last; very playable. Timely Tradition had won four of previous six starts before subpar effort on grass last out; return to dirt is key.

SEVENTH: Beachside consistently logs fast late-pace numbers and could be primed for breakthrough effort in wide-open Damon Runyon Stakes. La Fuerza has trained sharply since top-figured win in Notebook Stakes last time; logical, short-priced player. Not That Brady crushed maidens by an expanding 11 lengths last time; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Craigville Beach has made incremental moves on the numbers in all three starts; added 16th plays to strength. Grammi Dance took backward step in last after fast-figured placing in prior; rebound threat. Center City owns speed but lacks heart; must take the good with the bad. Threatlovesmidnite debuts for Todd Pletcher; stay tuned to the tote.

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