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Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Sunday, Dec. 15

Best Bet: HARPERS FIRST RIDE (5); Best Value: PRINCIPAL DANCER (9)

FIRST: Hickory Made is riding a forward line on pace and final figures; call based on price in weak opener. Jasminesque has finished second in last two; runner-up again? We Are Family is fresh and hails from streaking Michelle Nevin stable; be no surprise.

SECOND: Factoring get class drop and fired two half-mile drills since last start; 1-for-1 on Big A's main track. Whyisshesoolucky was a wide fourth in last; price will be tempting. Floss Dancer bested "Lucky" by nearly three lengths when a game second on Nov. 15; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Grito de Pablito has trained with a purpose since being gelded after debut; addition of Lasix seals the deal. Money Ride is riding a forward line on the numbers; very interesting. Macho Boy, another that was gelded and gets the meds since last start, could play out as the controlling speed; must consider.

FOURTH: Later Cat tallied sharp final fraction when breaking maiden last out; more to come. Overbold is speedy and working swiftly; worth long look. Mandatory Payout was a solid third in last and owns faster back numbers; very playable.

FIFTH: Harpers First Ride notched swift late-pace figure when overcoming wide trip to win last at Laurel; ready for prime time. Majid is quick from gate and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Krewe Chief makes first start since claimed by profitable barn; must be factored into the mix.

SIXTH: Dirty Bird owns sit-and-pounce style that logged both wins at Sunday's mile trip. Purely Lucky displayed improved speed in last; front-end player at playable price. Jennemily drops and owns swift back numbers; don't ignore.

SEVENTH: Mary's Girl notched half-mile drill since three-length victory last out; pairs up. Timely Tradition is rested and could play out as the main speed in field that's light on front-runners. Puffery wheels back in a hurry after earning improved pace number just nine days ago; dangerous.

EIGHTH: Time Limit is fleet-footed and could capitalize on unchallenged lead in bulky field. Big Q held more than eight lengths to the good on top selection when a much-the-best winner on Nov. 16; bounces today? Holmdel Park bested a next-out winner when breaking maiden in last; developing and dangerous.

NINTH: Principal Dancer was gelded, gets Lasix and compiled tight work tab since last start; improvement predicted. Talespin fired 3-furlong bullet since wide-trip fifth in last; big-time threat. The Joke's On You adds blinkers and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; must consider. Apex Predator regressed in last after being dq'd from top honors in previous start; worth long look.

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