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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Sunday, Oct. 18

Best Bet: BIRD'S EYE VIEW (7); Best Value: IMPERIO D (6)

FIRST: Cotton Candie Cutie wheels back in a hurry after fast-figured placing on Oct. 8; more to come. Whyisshesoolucky was just a half-length behind top pick last time and could easily take this if pace meltdown ensues. Miss Loyalty is another that would be aided if fractions get fast and furious.

SECOND: Exact was a strong second in debut; paltry price is the problem. Obligatory makes first start for streaking Bill Mott barn; stay tuned to the tote. Nisbet Beach and Salt Plage are newcomers from the Linda Rice barn; both must be factored into the mix.

THIRD: En Wye Cee is fresh and consistently earns fast figures; rates close call. Olympico makes peak start of form cycle; dangerous. Devamani, an uncoupled Chad Brown barn mate of Olympico, could easily take this on "A" effort.

FOURTH: Unbridled John drops and moves to dirt; throw deep in weak maiden field. Liquor was a tough-trip eighth in last; very interesting. Stash My Money owns fast back figures; don't ignore.

FIFTH: Tiltingatwindmills fits the classic Chad Brown profile (fresh, fast figures, sharp work tab); 1-for-1 on Big B sod. Red Curls hails from crafty Roy Lerman barn; worth long look. Vibrancy moves to grass for Steve Asmussen; don't dismiss.

SIXTH: Imperio D tallied swift final fraction when a change-of-pace fourth in last; breakthrough predicted. Money in the Bank could play out as the controlling speed with aggressive ride; big-time player. Brunate fired half-mile bullet for first start in 46 days; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Bird's Eye View notched strong late-pace figure when a better-than-it-looks fourth in last; career-best expected. Bad Beat Brian is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Malthael is more than good enough on best efforts; must consider.

EIGHTH: It's Gravy projects as the dominant front-runner with heads-up handling. Dee Bo should improve with return to dirt; very dangerous. V Pattern debuts for potent first-out stable (Horacio DePaz); tote should provide additional clues.

NINTH: Decorated Invader was a clear-cut winner in lone start on Belmont turf; keeps on giving. Chocolate Bar was done in by poor start last time; owns versatile running style. Starting Over was a determined victor the first time he touched Big B grass; very interesting.

TENTH: Smack drops and should be tighter in second start since April. Doll is quick from gate and could play out as the main speed. Canarsie Angel was a game second in last; right in the thick of this. Winifred J is fleet-footed and makes third start of form cycle; don't overlook.

New York Sports