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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Saturday, Jan. 4

Best Bet: COACH VILLA (4); Best Value: BLUEGRASS JAMBOREE (8)

FIRST: Galway Empire owns speed, is rested and drops; call in weak opener. Shandian also is fleet-footed but has failed to find winner's circle in 10 tries; must take the good with the bad. Lucky E gets Lasix and adds blinkers; wake-up potential at beefy odds.

SECOND: Krewe Chief tallied fast late-pace figure when a determined winner in last; pairs up. California Night logged two sharp works since game placing in last; very dangerous. Heavy Roller is fresh and owns fast numbers on "A" efforts; don't ignore.

THIRD: Tercero regressed when facing stakes field last time; drop back in with maidens seals the deal. Boom Boom Kaboom notched three tight works since tough-trip on sloppy strip last out; very interesting. First Deputy was a strong second in last; easily could take this.

FOURTH: Coach Villa logged rapid final fraction when a hard-charging victor in most recent; keeps on giving. Sneakiness exits ultra-game placing in last; big-time threat. Hizaam should pack amplified wallop with cutback to sprint; must be factored into the mix.

FIFTH: The Forty Factor earned "new pace top" when facing pricier field last time; main speed with heads-up handling. O Shea Can U See runs late and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Majestic Affair drops two price levels for Rudy Rodriguez; must be considered.

SIXTH: My Sacred Place drew clear by more than five lengths when a dominant maiden winner in last; more to come. Rejected Again, another last-race maiden victor, is quick from gate and could play out as the main speed. Yes For Less gets favorable cutback to sprint; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Joe's Smokin Gun tallied fast late-pace and final numbers when winning second in a row last time; fires another big effort. Danebury is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Foolish Ghost also is speedy and and is advantageously posted; very playable.

EIGHTH: Bluegrass Jamboree was compromised by soft fractions and wide trip when a strong second in last; additional furlong plays to strength. Pauseforthecause is speedy and riding a three-race winning streak; big-time player. Kept True bested top selection by more than a length when winning on Dec. 20; worth long look.

NINTH: Its a Chance exits two-move third in last and should have more to give in fourth outing of form cycle. Itsakeyper is fresh and drops to lifetime low; worth long look at long price. Appreciate is another that's rested and gets class relief; don't ignore. Peggy Sue makes first start since claimed by white-hot Linda Rice barn; more than good enough on "A" game.

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