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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Sunday, June 28

Best Bet: GRAVES ISLAND (2); Best Value: LIL COMMISSIONER (5)

FIRST: Liquor logged solid numbers in both starts; tight work tab seals the deal. Danegeld has finished second in all three starts; runner-up again? True Grace owns fast figures and makes first start since gelded; potential underlay.

SECOND: Graves Island bested a next-out winner when a clear-cut second in last at Charles Town; ready for prime time. Hardcore Folklore packs potent kick on best efforts; worth long look. Moneymeister was a solid fourth in 14-horse field last time; must consider.

THIRD: Indochine is showing speed in recent works and could get lead by default in field that's light on front-runners. Xanthique notched both wins on Belmont turf; very playable. Jazzique displayed strong passing gear in both starts; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Frosted Rose owns sit-and-pounce style and fired half-mile bullet on Fair Hill training track last week; call in wide-open turf dash. Deputy Flag is speedy and hails from Brad Cox barn; double trouble. Hurricane Hill could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

FIFTH: Lil Commissioner gets confident price boost after decisive score at Gulfstream in March; shows history of pairing up wins. California Night failed to fire last time but looms a front-running threat on best efforts. Armament should improve with return to dirt.

SIXTH: Fridaybeers adds blinkers and projects as the controlling speed with heads-up handling. Coragescontender rallied late last out and could be aided by Sunday's added ground. Selfmade makes first start since moving to Bill Mott barn; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Mo Me Mo My ships in from SoCal for Doug O'Neill; soft spot. Peaceful runs late and could be the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious. Cariba finished second in both grass starts at Gulfstream; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Ilchester Cheetah was done in by bad start last time; speed of the speed with aggressive handling. Critical Value packs potent kick and could prove a very tough customer if able to secure a pocket trip. Big Q is fresh, training with a purpose and owns fast numbers; big-time player.

NINTH: Two Cent Tootsie has drilled four times since speed-and-fade to third in last; duly tightened. Kiss and Run could be in the catbird seat if pace meltdown comes to pass; worth long look at long price. Crescent Lady made menacing middle move and flattened last time; developing and dangerous. Beyond Brown owns speed and needed last; must be factored into the mix.

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