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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Wednesday, Sept. 11

Best Bet: STERLING BEAUTY (8); Best Value: MAIDEN BEAUTY (6)

FIRST: Ox Bridge tallied fast final fraction when second in debut; added quarter-mile seals the deal. Ajaaweed has drilled twice since even fifth in debut; improvement predicted. Starting Over makes first start for Jonathan Thomas barn; follow the money.

SECOND: Corot is fresh and could play out as the main speed with aggressive ride. Zap Daddy packs potent kick and will be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Blessed Halo is quick from gate and hails from Brad Cox barn; must consider.

THIRD: Irish Banker makes third start of form cycle after logging improved internal numbers in last; set for breakthrough. Tarallucci runs late and added sixteenth could play to strength. Two Graces also owns stretch kick and would be aided by pace meltdown.

FOURTH: Kantarmaci entry: Reata's Reward gets class relief after speed and fade in last and mate Midnitesalright was a seven-length winner at Penn National last out; potent pairing. Letmetakethiscall wheels back quickly after front-end score at Finger Lakes on Aug. 31; very dangerous. Zecha could impact if pace meltdown ensues.

FIFTH: Fairy Link has worked three times since last start and logged only win on Belmont turf. G. T. Sonia exits clear-cut maiden score in most recent; must consider. Zandora is speedy and could prove tough on a soft lead.

SIXTH: Maiden Beauty was done in by swift splits when attempting distance beyond her scope; both career wins at Belmont Park. Ratajkowski was a determined winner in last and has hit the board in all four starts; be no surprise. Cartwheel is fleet-footed and owns fast numbers on "A" efforts; don't ignore.

SEVENTH: Fierce Scarlett is training with a purpose for first start since January for Chad Brown; classic pattern. Nay Lady Nay, also from Brown barn, was a clear-cut maiden winner in last; very dangerous. Sorrentina Lemon tallied rapid late-pace figure when winning debut at Tampa this past winter; eye-catching work tab for return.

EIGHTH: Sterling Beauty was pace compromised when a late-running fourth in last; gets better front-end flow in this dynamic. Two Cent Tootsie makes peak start of form cycle after tough-trip fifth in last; very interesting. Petalite has finished third in last two starts; minor award again? The Great Johanna returns to grass after game placing in last; right in the thick of this.

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