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35° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, May 2

Best bet: MIKE'S GIRL (9)

Best value: HIT IT ONCE MORE (8)

FIRST: Alvarado entry: Onyx and Liza have been working sharply at Arindel Farms in central Florida; best guess. Talk You Out of It is the only member of this field that has started; must consider. Sweet Melania, a daughter of American Pharoah, cost $600G as a yearling; could be the goods.

SECOND: Mo Gee is fresh and owns field's fastest late-pace figures. Variant Perception has worked two times since third when favored in last; logical. Much Trouble bested second pick by nearly a length when a hard-charging second on April 5; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Key Biscayne compiled tight work slate for debut; happy hunting. Kit Kat Katie is from a dam that has produced a turf winner; worth long look. Days of Spring debuts for Todd Pletcher; must be factored into the mix.

FOURTH: Sun Studio notched fast late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner in last; pairs up. Alberobello is training sharply for first start since November; very dangerous. Jump Ruler is speedy and drops; big-time player.

FIFTH: Trixie's Time was done in by fast fractions last time; softer flow predicted. Retro Street packs potent late kick and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Bee'snbee's consistently delivers strong efforts and could prove very tough if able to transfer form to new footing.

SIXTH: Skychief is quick from the gate and could enjoy unchallenged lead in bulky field. Lone Pioneer runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Red Mule owns a second and a third from three starts; hard to toss.

SEVENTH: Bertranda ships in from Philly after front-running score at Parx last out; call based on price potential. Timely Tradition makes third start of form cycle after improved placing in last; very playable. Shimmering Moon owns speed, fast figures and drops; likely underlay.

EIGHTH: Hit It Once More gets class relief and favorable cutback in distance; crisp half-mile work April 24 seals the deal. Bon Raison packs potent late wallop and is riding a two-race winning streak; very dangerous. Backsideofthemoon fired half-mile bullet for return from 12-week freshener; price will be tempting.

NINTH: Mike's Girl owns speed and gets top-notch, front-end rider; tight work tab is the clincher. Plink Freud is training with a purpose for first start since November; big-time threat. Linda's Ballet moves to turf for Linda Rice; must consider. Corey Scores has finished third as the favorite in both starts; fails again at short ticket?


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