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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Wednesday, Sept. 26

Best bet: BON RAISON (5)

Best value: METAPHORICAL (9)

FIRST: Might Be holds an edge on pace and final figures; short price in short field. Cotton Candy Cutie is training with a purpose for first start since March; dangerous. Take Charge Aubrey fired crisp half-mile work since front-end second in last; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Grand Banks makes peak start of form cycle after being compromised by wide trip when second in last; now or never. Spring Drama is fresh and owns fast late-pace figures. Crater Rim was just a half-length behind top selection last time; don't ignore.

THIRD: Grandpa's Arianna should pack amplified wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs. Blue Atlas logged both career wins on Belmont sod; big-time player. Awsum Roar is 1-for-1 on Belmont grass and could play out as the controlling speed.

FOURTH: Golden Vale makes third start of form cycle after clear-cut placing in last; more to come. Brooklyn Gerty failed to deliver as the favorite last time; dangerous on the drop. Jordy's Ready owns two seconds and two thirds from last four starts; must consider.

FIFTH: Bon Raison moves to grass after dominant win on Spa dirt last out; sharp, recent work tab seals the deal. Rappel packs potent kick and logged both lifetime wins on Belmont sod. Camp Courage owns fast back figures and should offer generous price; worth long look.

SIXTH: Imperatore was a determined winner at Saratoga last time and is 1-for-1 on Belmont loam; keeps on giving. Forge, an uncoupled barn mate of top selection, consistently earns fast late-pace and final figures; very dangerous. Rockford is another that fires strong efforts with machine-like regularity; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Phone Funky Munky drops and gets favorable cutback in distance; main speed. Coltandmississippi also gets class relief and looms the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the stretch. Double Deep exits solid placing in last; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Beaux Arts exits shorter sprints and projects as the swiftest of the swift with aggressive ride. Something Joyful tallied swift late-pace figure when a five-length maiden winner last out; big-time threat. Hollywood Cat returns to preferred surface and makes peak start of form cycle; must consider.

NINTH: Metaphorical displayed improved speed in last and should be sitting on breakthrough in third start since layoff. Somebody drops to lifetime low and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Gravitating makes first start since claimed by Rudy Rodriguez; very interesting. Uncle Larry drops and returns to dirt; improvement expected.

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