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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Sunday, June 23

Best Bet: ENDORSED (7); Best Value: FUNNY GUY (8)

FIRST: Alvernia notched clear-cut maiden score in first start on Belmont dirt; pairs up. Fancycase is training with a purpose for first start since August; very tempting. Ardara Belle owns speed and moves to main track; don't ignore.

SECOND: Strongerthanuknow debuts for potent (29 percent) first-out barn; best guess. Time Limit noticeably picked up the tempo in final workout; consider. Rewarded holds experience edge in field of newcomers; not worst place to land.

THIRD: Munchkin Money tallied swift late-pace figure when a game second in last; more to come. Inspeightof is speedy and makes turf debut for Jason Servis; very playable. Souper Striking also is quick from gate and makes peak start of form cycle; very interesting.

FOURTH: Quasar has trained sharply since solid second in last; more to give. Concerned compiled eye-catching work tab for debut; could be the goods. Paint It Green is another that's training swiftly for first start; follow the money.

FIFTH: Niko's Dream has drilled three times since determined maiden score in last; takes another. Newly Minted moves to grass after starting career with three straight wins; obvious threat. Kid Is Frosty, another making first turf start, never has been off the board in seven starts; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Justin Vision was a front-running third in debut; gets the call if able to escape AE list. Listentoyourheart compiled sneaky-good work slate; could be a runner. Cleon Jones debuts for Jeremiah Englehart; we know he could hit, but can he race?

SEVENTH: Endorsed logged solid training tab for first start since October; primed and ready. Fortune's Fool chased swift splits when a front-end maiden winner in last; dangerous. Fortin Hill fits the classic Chad Brown pattern (layoff runner with sharp workouts); be no surprise. Bernin' Thru Gold regressed in last after fast-figured win in previous start; bounce-back potential.  

EIGHTH: Funny Guy owns fast late-pace figures and is from a dam that has produced two turf winners; call based on price. Thorny Tale owns positional speed and should be well placed in bulky field. Blindwillie McTell owns three wins and two seconds from five starts; logical, short-priced player. Rinaldi was a good third after tough trip in debut; worth long look at long price.

NINTH: Tarallucci was compromised by wide trip when a strong fourth in last; forward move predicted. Mike's Girl failed to get the job done when third at 95 cents on the dollar last time; burns more cash on Sunday? Vitanza drops after speed and fade in debut; don't ignore. Smart Throb gets trainer upgrade and makes peak start of form cycle; very interesting.

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