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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Saturday, April 24

Best Bet: HIGH OPINION (4); Best Value: MIHOS (7)

FIRST: One Whirlwind Ride took backward step in last after game placing in previous start; rebounds. Repo Rocks could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. First Captain was bought for $1.5M as a yearling; starts to recoup hefty price tag?

SECOND: Classic Colors tallied fast late-pace figure when breaking maiden on Belmont sod last fall; tight work tab for return. Friedman entry: Chasing Cara owns sprinter's speed and mate Cara's Dreamer was a front-running maiden winner at the Big A last autumn; potent pairing. Pandamom owns win on Belmont turf and is training sharply; must consider.

THIRD: Somebody was compromised by slow splits when third in budding key race last out. Mr Phil was a clear-cut winner on April Fool's Day; very dangerous. Thin White Duke is rested and competitive on best efforts; don't ignore.

FOURTH: High Opinion notched rapid final fraction when breaking maiden on Belmont grass last October; rail draw on inner course seals the deal. Stolen Holiday is fleet-footed and could play out as the controlling speed. Publication tallied fast figures when a winner on Big B lawn last Fourth of July; logical, short-priced player.

FIFTH: Kumar, 2-for-2 at Belmont Park, makes first start for Rudy Rodriguez; rates close call. Runabout, a strong second in last, owns fast late-pace figures; very playable. Ekhtibaar, 1-for-1 on Big B loam. returns to claiming ranks and owns swift numbers on "A" efforts; must be factored into the mix.

SIXTH: Bail Out is 0-for-19 but is fresh, training with a purpose and logged field's fastest numbers on Belmont turf. Mutasallem makes first grass start for Chad Brown; very playable. Caveat Emptor was a sharp second in last on Tampa turf; must consider.

SEVENTH: Mihos tallied swift late-pace figure when a hard-charging winner in last; more to come. Souper Stonehenge owns stalker's style and fast numbers; dangerous. Looking At Bikinis, 2-for-2 at Belmont, could easily take this on "A" efforts.

EIGHTH: Proven Strategies projects as the main speed with aggressive ride in compact field. Seismic Wave should pack amplified wallop with cutback to 7 furlongs; big-time threat. Front Run the Fed owns two wins and a second in three starts on Belmont grass; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Paynt the Edges is from a dam that has produced a turf winner and should be ideally positioned in bulky group. Flipping Fun was a change-of-pace fourth in last; very interesting. Strong Desire makes first start since gelded and first start with Lasix; worth long look. Freudian Analyst wheels back in a hurry after improved sixth on April 9; price will be tempting.

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