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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, April 29


FIRST: Mar Vista Miguel owns a stalker’s style that should be well served in small field. Shiraz looms the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious. River Knight’s speed gives him a puncher’s chance; don’t ignore.

SECOND: Champagne Papi returns to dirt and drops; amplified late kick predicted. Maimo is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Contingent Payment displayed improved early foot in last; worth long look.

THIRD: Caledonia Road is firing bullets for first start since winning BC Juvenile Fillies; paltry price is the problem. Crimson Frost drops and owns fast figures on best efforts; very interesting. Total Control was a determined winner in last; must consider.

FOURTH: English Channical returns to maiden claiming ranks after speed-and-fade tightener last out; primed and ready. Catch a Cab compiled strong work slate for return to grass; very dangerous. This Cat Can Fly adds blinkers and could be favorably positioned near the front.

FIFTH: Orbed fired 5-furlong bullet since even fourth in last; forward move predicted. High Promise compiled promising work slate for first start since October; set for best. Ajnadeen notched fast numbers in both starts; dangerous. Consensus Thinking and Monkeyseemonkeydo are uncoupled newcomers from the Chad Brown barn; what a game.

SIXTH: Alabama Bound logged tight training tab for first start in 65 days; speed of the speed with aggressive handling. First Appeal owns two wins and a second in four starts on Belmont turf; big-time player. Same Kinda Crazy owns positional speed and fired 5-furlong bullet on April 17; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Straightaway May tallied a win and a strong second in two starts on Belmont loam last summer; rates close call. Luzinski has noticeably upped his game since returning from layoff in March; very playable. Hamptons Holiday could make presence felt in stretch if pace meltdown ensues.

EIGHTH: Touch of Bling logged front-running wins in last two starts and projects as the controlling speed once again. Always Thinking logs swift late-pace figures on best efforts; price will be tempting. Stormy Victoria owns three wins, a second and a third in five outings on Belmont sod; be no surprise.

NINTH: Theresa’s Boy exits sprints and projects as the dominant speed in grass debut. Run for Boston tallied career-best number on Belmont turf last fall; very playable. Stag of Sylvia was a tough-trip eighth in first turf start last week at the Big A; improvement predicted. Fleet Admiral runs late and could land in exotics at fat ticket.

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