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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Wednesday, April 17

Best Bet: PEGGY SUE (9); Best Value: ORPHEUS (5)

FIRST: Tote Board shows work tab that culminated with half-mile bullet from gate; watch the tote board in season's first baby race. Lady Delaware debuts for Wes Ward; could be the goods. Mo Mystery ships north for first start after training at Palm Beach Downs; happy hunting.

SECOND: High Command made late run in debut and gets added ground for potent second-out stable. Preternatural is quick from gate and training sharply for first start since last August; very dangerous. Connolly's Beads was second to a nearly eight-length winner in last; must consider.

THIRD: Don Polo ships in to make turf debut for crafty barn; call based on price potential. Traffic Stop took backward step in last after determined win in debut; dangerous. Go Poke the Bear overcame soft flow to break maiden in last at Gulfstream; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Appreciate is fresh and owns fast back numbers; gets ideal setup in likely pace dynamic. It's a Shaw Thing is fleet-footed and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride; very playable. Avocado owns fast turf numbers on best efforts; must be factored into the mix.

FIFTH: Orpheus tallied swift late-pace figure at 7 furlongs last time; cutback to shorter sprint enhances kick. Malibu Action is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Happy Farm makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; is it really that easy?

SIXTH: Surface Strike is training with a purpose and looms the main speed on the fence. Curlin's New Moon packs potent wallop on "A" efforts; very interesting. Sams Last Ghasp regressed in last after hard-fought win in previous start; bounce-back threat.

SEVENTH: Shiraz has top-notch, front-end rider in saddle and projects as the speed of the speed with proper handling. Catch a Cab owns stalker's style and could be in the catbird seat if top selection gets hooked on the lead. Michael Dubb entry: Dowse's Beach and We Should Talk both own fast figures but likely will offer short odds; your move.

EIGHTH: Pauseforthecause was victimized by wide trip when third in last; deserves another chance. Big Birthday consistently logs fast figures; be no surprise. Honor Way packs potent late kick and would be aided by pace meltdown.

NINTH: Peggy Sue was a much-improved third after rough start in last; move to grass plays to strength. Seattle Frost wheels back in a hurry after speed and fade this past Thursday; price will be tempting. Annette's Humor also is fleet-footed and is from a dam that has thrown a turf winner; must consider. Youth Gone Wild returns to grass for suddenly-live Rodrigo Ubillo barn; worth long look at long price.

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