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Good Evening

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Sunday, Oct. 4

Best Bet: LOVESTRUCK (7); Best Value: Z'FINALE (2)

FIRST: Munnings Muse was done in by swift splits last time; softer flow anticipated. Impazible Donna has finished second at short odds in both starts; runner-up again? Calidad should improve with return to dirt; don't ignore.

SECOND: Z'finale tallied rapid final fraction when pace and position compromised last out; three tight works in the interim seal the deal. Whichwaytomalibu is from a dam that has thrown a grass winner; very interesting. Noble Mischief was a change-of-pace fifth in last; worth long look.

THIRD: Indy Union is fresh and logged both wins at Belmont Park; welcome home. Graceful Princess owns speed and is training with a purpose for first start since April; dangerous. Off Topic, an uncoupled barn mate of Graceful Princess, owns a win, a second and a third in three starts at Belmont; must be considered.

FOURTH: Gio d'Oro is fleet-footed, rested and makes first start since moving to Christophe Clement stable; wire to wire. Catch a Cab tallied all four victories on Belmont sod; big-time player. Siding Spring was a front-running winner in raced moved to dirt last; razor sharp and must be factored into the mix.

FIFTH: Grit and Glory fired half-mile bullet since taking backward step in last start; rebounds. Kumar was a game second last out; logical contender. Saratoga Pal tallied career-best pace and final numbers when winning last; bounces Sunday?

SIXTH: Saratoga Beauty passed runners at every point of call when a better-than-it-looks fifth in turf debut at Monmouth last out; added ground plays to strength. Abby Normal logged only win on Belmont sod; worth long look at long price. Astoria Kitten is fleet-footed and can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

SEVENTH: Lovestruck visually and numerically impressed when winning debut; more to come. Editor At Large is another good-looking, first-out victor but will offer short price. Freedomofthepress was just a length behind top selection when second in first start; must consider.

EIGHTH: Letruska owns bullet-like speed and should secure soft lead in small field. Point of Honor packs potent late kick and looms the prime beneficiary if top selection wilts in the lane. Horologist, a subpar third in last, is more than good enough on "A" effort.

NINTH: Holiday Stone made eye-catching move to win last at Kentucky Downs; crisp half-mile work in interim is the clincher. Chewing Gum should pack amplified kick with cutback to 6 furlongs; very dangerous. Archidust is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.

TENTH: Data Deal is speedy, rested and training sharply; primed for breakthrough. Phantom Smoke debuts for Christophe Clement; tote should provide additional clues. Cotton moves to grass after finishing second in both dirt starts; likely underlay. Iwo Jima (endurance-building work tab) and Tanners Neck Lane (fired bullet to conclude work slate) are two newcomers who must be factored into the mix.

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