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Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Saturday, May 4

Best Bet: NO DISTORTION (6); Best Value: NUEVA YORK (9)

FIRST: Thefinalcrazydude projects as the main speed in contentious opener. Special Story cuts back in distance and should pack amplified wallop. Latin Love Bug also runs late and was compromised by wide trip in last.

SECOND: Danzante was a useful fifth in first start since four-month layoff last out; more to come. Early Retirement is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Givetheman a Cigar was a game second in last; logical contender.

THIRD: Giant Trick is training with a purpose for first start since October; primed and ready. Dannie's Deceiver owns fast numbers but has been sidelined for more than two years and takes suspicious price plunge; damaged goods? Mo Soul is quick from gate and should be favorably positioned from outside slot.

FOURTH: Holy Helena is fresh and owns fast late-pace figures. Santa Monica also packs potent kick but looms a likely underlay. Lady Montdore is speedy and could play out as the controlling front-runner.

FIFTH: Paper Clip could play out as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Bye Bye Nicky has finished second in both starts; runner-up again? Shannon's Girl compiled tight work tab for first start since November; set for breakthrough effort.

SIXTH: No Distortion was done in by swift pace last time; cutback to sprint seals the deal. Tribecca makes first start since claimed after front-running score in last dangerous. Sparticle is speedy and has top-notch front-end rider aloft; must consider.

SEVENTH: Zinger tallied career-best late-pace figure in last on Fair Grounds grass; transfers form to Belmont sod. Compagno, an uncoupled barn mate of top selection, was a winner on Belmont turf last spring; very interesting. Shamcat was victimized by wide trip in last; don't ignore.

EIGHTH: Papa Jim gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs; rates close call in contentious maiden dash. Step to the Bank was unable to handle slop and distance last time; worth long look. Coolboy was a much-improved second in last; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Nueva York moves to grass after clear-cut maiden win in last; keeps on giving. Oh My Papa is fleet-footed and from a dam that has thrown two grass winners; very dangerous. Mystical Song was a willing second in last; right in the thick of this.

TENTH: Robert Bruce is a rested and sharply-training runner from Chad Brown; barn's signature move. Dr. Edgar has won two in a row and five of last seven; must consider. Arrocha gets Lasix in stateside debut for Brown; would it surprise you?

ELEVENTH: Hoffenheim could be sitting in the stalker's seat in wide-open Westchester. Prince Lucky won Grade 2 and Grade 3 stakes in last two starts at Gulfstream; logical, short-priced threat. Realm notched rapid late-pace and final figures when a game second in last; must be factored into the mix.

TWELFTH: Intersect compiled solid work slate for first start since St. Patrick's Day; throw deep in wide-open nightcap. Bel Coure is speedy but consistently fails at short odds; you've been warned. First Forever, second in last two, is another that has burned much cash; mixed message. Miss Flambe makes third start of form cycle after displaying improved speed in last; don't overlook.

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