Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Saturday, Sept. 8

Best Bet: THIRSTY GAL (1); Best Value: POSHSKY (7)

FIRST: Thirsty Gal logged swift final fraction when a hard-charging second in last; half-mile bullet last week seals the deal. Party in the Sand was fourth as the favorite in same last race as top selection; dangerous. Promise Me Roses, third in common Aug. 13 dash, is speedy and needed last; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Extinct Charm makes third start of form cycle and owns fast back numbers. Turco Bravo was a hard-charging winner in last; dangerous. Top of the Page consistently delivers strong efforts and makes first start since claimed for a third time by Gary Gullo; very interesting.

THIRD: Carrera Cat was a game second on Spa dirt last time and notched swift late-pace figure on Belmont turf last fall; call in evenly-matched field. Andretta owns three seconds and a third from five starts; must respect. Something Joyful was strong second in debut on Belmont grass last fall and is training sharply for return; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Gidu projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive handling. Weather Report also is fleet-footed and has won four in a row at lesser circuits; price will be tempting. World of Trouble was a front-running winner in first start on grass; adds more speed to the mix.

FIFTH: Truly a Moon Shot is quick from the gate and compiled work tab that culminated with 5-furlong bullet; primed and ready. Cavallotto, 1-for-1 at Belmont Park, looms the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Zap Zap Zap makes first start since claimed by John Toscano and owns fast numbers on best efforts; must consider.

SIXTH: Bella Figura gets Lasix in stateside debut for Christophe Clement; call based on price potential. Beau Belle went to the bench after ultra-game placing on July 21; very dangerous with similar effort. Semper Sententiae has trained sharply since tough-trip sixth in debut; improvement expected.

SEVENTH: Poshsky gets confident price hike after much-the-best score just nine days ago; more to come. Helooksthepart was second in a pricier field last time and consistently logs swift numbers; very dangerous. Happy Farm is 1-for-1 on Belmont loam and makes first start since claimed by Charlie Baker; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Outrageous Bet was a much-improved second in last and fired crisp 3-furlong work in the interim; more in the tank. Ro Bear hails from crafty stable (Dennis Lalman) and owns a win and a third in three starts on Belmont grass; very playable. River Knight is speedy and could stick around in the exotics at fat ticket.

NINTH: Eloweasel was a clear-cut winner in last and owns faster back numbers; pairs up. Transaction Tax is speedy, gets favorable cutback to sprint and could prove very tough to collar on an unchallenged lead. Orecchiette is 2-for-3 on Belmont sod; very dangerous. Violent Times was a game second in only grass outing; don't overlook.

TENTH: A Thread of Blue, from a dam that has produced six grass winners, moves to sod after speed and fade in well-bet debut; improvement predicted. Current logged two, half-mile works since late-running second in debut; easily could take this. Teachable Moment logged fast late-pace figure when third on Belmont turf on July 8; right in the thick of this. Bigmouthed is training swiftly at Monmouth base for debut for high-octane barn (Jorge Navarro); could be the goods.

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