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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Saturday, Jan. 11

Best Bet: WAR STOPPER (3); Best Value: BIG THICKET (7)

FIRST: Gongheifatchoy exits game placings in last two starts; breaks through on Saturday. The Joke's On You is riding a forward line and makes third start of form cycle. Apex Predator owns speed and could prove very tough on a soft lead.

SECOND: We Should Talk drops and owns fast back numbers; takes this if not damaged goods. Toohottoevenspeak could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Javelin is another closer that would be aided by fast fractions.

THIRD: War Stopper logged three tight works since much-improved fifth in last; more to come. Call Me Later turns back to mile after displaying newfound speed in last; dangerous. First Line outworked 110 rivals in final two morning drills; could be the goods.

FOURTH: City Temper gets class relief and moves to dirt after speed and fade in grass debut; improvement predicted. High School Crush regressed in last after strong third in previous start; rebound threat. Hot Little Honey gets blinkers/Lasix makeover after never impacting in debut; wake-up potential.

FIFTH: Split Verdict owns fast numbers but has been sidelined since July of 2018; mixed message. Quest for Fire owns speed and should offer generous price; very interesting. Our Stormin Norman makes peak start of form cycle; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Shamrocked was bested by two next-out winners when a front-running third in last; rates close call. Cerretalto is fresh and owns fast figures on "A" efforts; very playable. Ready to Escape needed last and owns favorable stalker's style; must consider.

SEVENTH: Big Thicket makes first start since claimed after much-the-best score on Dec. 28; quick return on investment. Bebe Banker was too close to fast fractions when fifth on New Year's Eve; very dangerous. Ten Twenty Nine was a tough-trip third at 20-1 last time; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: The Caretaker tallied sizzling final fraction when winning by more than four lengths last out; pairs up. Arthur's Hope makes peak start of form cycle after earning improved pace figure in last; price will be tempting. Aveenu Malcainu is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Love Me Tomorrow ships in from Kentucky for Wes Ward after compiling sharp work slate at Turfway Park; potential paltry price is the problem. Menzamenz is speedy, rested and adds blinkers; very interesting. Gipsey Sorceress was an even fourth versus arguably tougher at Tampa Bay Downs last time; don't ignore. More Diamonds is fleet-footed and drops; must consider.

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