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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Saturday, Oct. 3

Best Bet: HARRIS BAY (3); Best Value: MARYANORGINGER (1)

FIRST: Maryanorginger drops after logging career-best pace figure in last; main speed with aggressive ride. Stunning Munnings could be ideally positioned in the staker's seat; very playable. La Negrita has finished second in last four starts; another minor award?

SECOND: Mun Luv owns turf bloodlines on both sides of pedigree; forward move predicted. Lilly Simone gets favorable cutback after speed and fade in debut; dangerous. Oyster Box is working swiftly at Fair Hill training base; stay tuned to the tote.

THIRD: Harris Bay tallied rapid final fraction when a determined winner in last; pairs up. Foolish Ghost, a front-running winner in most recent, could play out as the controlling speed once again. Golani Brigade is fresh, training sharply and hails from Chad Brown barn; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Feeling Pretty displayed improved speed and last and projects as the controlling front-runner in wide-open turf dash. Army Wife was a fast-figured third last out; logical, short-priced player. Fort Drum was a clear-cut second to a much-the-best winner in last; don't ignore.

FIFTH: Honor Way should find already potent late kick intensified with slight cutback in distance. Frank's Rockette has won four of last five starts; if underlays are your game. Pacific Gale owns fast back numbers; worth long look at long price.

SIXTH: Fire At Will returns to turf after tenacious score in race taken off grass last out; two swift works in the interim seal the deal. Step Dancer has trained sharply since visually and numerically impressive win in debut; very playable. American Monarch has earned fast late-pace figures in both starts; big-time threat.

SEVENTH: Highland Sky has worked with a purpose since being pace and position compromised in last start; breakthrough predicted. Channel Marker took advantage of soft splits when a front-end winner in the Grade I Sword Dancer at the Spa; gets similar trip on Saturday? Sadler's Joy packs potent kick on best efforts and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

EIGHTH: Code of Honor has logged career best efforts on Belmont Park loam; tight, recent work tab is the clincher. Complexity owns speed and fast figures; be no surprise. Stan the Man was a clear-cut winner in last and owns faster back figures; very interesting.

NINTH: Gufo notched swift final fraction when a tough-trip second in last; 10-furlong trip plays to strength. No Word was just a half-length behind top selection last time and fired 5-furlong bullet last week; could easily close the gap. Domestic Spending, 1-for-1 on Belmont turf, defeated top pair when winning Saratoga Derby on Aug. 15; obviously must be considered.

TENTH: Mondeuse, from a dam that has thrown two grass winners, fired half-mile bullet on Sept. 23; best guess. She's a Majestic failed to fire when a heavily-bet 4-1 in race that was moved to main track; improvement expected. Emma and I is from a dam that has produced three turf winners; price will be tempting. Hedda debuts for Chad Brown; need more?

New York Sports