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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Friday, Sept. 28

Best bet: SPRING ON CURLIN (9)

Best value: BARREL OF DESTINY (5)

FIRST: Beautiful Buzz regressed in last after fast-figured win in prior; rebounds. She'sgotthebeat cuts back to sprint and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall. Mahabodhi Tree owns speed and returns from four-month break; price will be tempting.

SECOND: French Empire exits dirt sprints and projects as the main speed in turf route. Asticou Trail needed last and packs potent kick on "A" effort. Merger Arbitrage was a clear-cut second in last and hails from Chad Brown barn; big-time underlay.

THIRD: Borsa Vento took backward step in most recent after game placing two back; bounces back. Sir Ballantine owns fast late-pace and final figures; very dangerous. Old Upstart makes first start since reclaimed by Carlos Martin; very interesting.

FOURTH: Hurricane Sheila is fleet-footed and training with a purpose for first start since April. Secret Quality moves to dirt in first start since claimed by Tony Dutrow; late-running threat. Chamber was an even fourth at 80 cents on the dollar in debut for Chad Brown; willing to take paltry price once again?

FIFTH: Barrel of Destiny gets favorable cutback to 7 furlongs and should pack intensified late wallop. Dynamite Kitten compiled eye-catching work tab for first start since June; very playable. Overtime Olivia could play out as the controlling speed in first grass start; don't overlook.

SIXTH: Champagne Bliss adds blinkers and moves to dirt for second career start; two, crisp half-mile works in the interim seals the deal. Filly Joel also has trained sharply since late-running fourth in first start; big-time player. Proximity Bias (dam has four winners from four starters) and uncoupled barn mate Indexation (working swiftly) are newcomers from Chad Brown stable; nobody said this was an easy game.

SEVENTH: Matty's Magnum moves to turf after hard-charging win on dirt last time; transfers razor-sharp form. Goodbye Brockley loves Belmont sod and makes peak start of form cycle; very playable. Silver Shaker compiled tight work tab for first start in 53 days for Brown; obvious threat.

EIGHTH: Horoscope turns back to 6 furlongs and will pack heightened late punch. Heavy Meddle is firing bullets for first start in 54 days; worth long look. Fleet Irish owns two wins and two seconds from four starts at Belmont; must consider. Stoney Bennett is speedy and riding a two-race winning streak; be no surprise.

NINTH: Spring On Curlin has trained strongly since defeating 11 rivals when a last-to-first maiden winner in last; pairs up. Bobby G compiled sharp work slate for first start since last fall; worth long look. Long Night makes second start since 10-month absence; price will be tempting. Gosilently is speedy and makes third start of form cycle; must consider.

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