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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Sunday, Jan. 3

Best bet: AIR ATTACK (6)

Best value: TOO EARLY (4)

FIRST: Theatrical Dancer gets the meds and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; forward move predicted. Amity Island was a hard-charging second as the favorite last time; short price once again. Rosey's Peach is speedy and makes third start of form cycle; very playable.

SECOND: Oh My Papa is rested and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride. Justice of War also is fresh and could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat. Dr. Devera's Way drops and owns fast numbers on "A" efforts.

THIRD: Halo City fired 3-furlong bullet since tough-trip third in last; more to come. Ajhar was dq'd from hard-fought win at Parx in last; very dangerous. Mandatory compiled eye-catching work tab for first start in nearly 14 months; worth long look.

FOURTH: Too Early logged only win at 9-furlong distance when returning from similar layoff; history repeats. Advanced Strategy is training swiftly for return to dirt; very playable. Cold Hard Cash needed last and owns fast back numbers; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Miss Mi Mi climbs the ladder after determined score in last; pairs up. Sirenic has finished second in last two starts; runner-up again? She's a Black Belt consistently delivers strong efforts; must consider.

SIXTH: Air Attack makes first start since claimed after tallying improved internal numbers in last; breakthrough predicted. Super Dude projects as the potential controlling speed in first start for Rudy Rodriguez; very playable. Family Biz packs potent late wallop on best efforts; worth long look.

SEVENTH: Opt makes third start of form cycle after much-improved placing in last; more to give. Twisted Tom was a fast-figured third in last; big-time player. Seven Lilies wheels back in a hurry for new barn after swift-numbered win Dec. 19; very interesting.

EIGHTH: Sadie Lady exits top-figured, front-running win in last; keeps on giving. Sharp Starr is riding a two-race winning streak; could easily get three-peat. Mrs. Orb owns four wins and five seconds from last 10 starts; must be factored into the mix.

NINTH: Investment Grade gets blinkers and Lasix and drops into maiden-claiming ranks; weakness of field is selection's strength. Vive La Liberty faced stakes field in last; price will be tempting. Captivating Cara is riding a forward line on the numbers; very interesting. Stella Mars makes first dirt start and first outing with maiden-claiming tag; don't ignore.

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