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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Sunday, Feb.9

Best Bet: GOLCONDA (1); Best Value: VORTICITY (7)

FIRST: Golconda makes peak start of form cycle after earning improved late-pace figure in last; set for breakthrough. Brown Eyed Boy owns sprinter's speed and could play out as the controlling front-runner. Talespin was a clear-cut third in last; price will be tempting.

SECOND: Desert Lights made sustained rally when a sharp second in last; more to come. Take It to Scale regressed in last after fast-figured third in previous start; rebound threat. Call the Cat could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

THIRD: Dovey Lovey should pack enhanced kick with slight cutback in distance; pace dynamics should play to strength. Miss Hot Stones owns fast numbers but has been idle since May; mixed message. Dirty Bird is riding a forward line on the figures; very interesting.

FOURTH: Shamrock Kid gets class relief and notched all three wins at Sunday's mile distance; rates close call. Peter's Project logs fast final fractions on best efforts; worth long look. Control Group won by more than four lengths at this level last time; likely underlay.

FIFTH: Bustin Shout set solid splits when a front-end winner in last; wire to wire reprise. Vincento could be the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Storm Prophet has finished second in last three starts and now makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; be no surprise.

SIXTH: Gypsum Johnny returns to proper price level and owns solid back numbers; call in weak field. Brimstone was a sharp second in most recent; very dangerous. Shalako returns at the bottom of the barrel after being eased in last; damaged goods?

SEVENTH: Vorticity should be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat in field with ample speed; two bullet drills since last race clinch it. Chateau is fleet-footed but coughed up five-length lead in the stretch last time; handle with care at short odds. Tribeca, another front-runner, could receive less-than-favorable pace setup; intriguing dash.

EIGHTH: Mrs. Orb overcame plodding fractions when winning fourth in a row last time; more in the tank. Newly Minted is fresh, training sharply and owns five wins from eight starts; very dangerous. More Mischief demolished optional claiming field by more than seven lengths last out; razor sharp and very playable.

NINTH: Big Red Girl took backward step in last after much-improved placing in previous race; rebounds at square ticket. Menzamenz owns speed and needed last; big-time threat. More Diamonds also is quick from gate and could prove very tough if able to shake clear early. High School Crush bested a next-out winner when second in last; right in the thick of this.

New York Sports