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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, May 30

Best bet: COLLINS AVE (5)

Best value: SUMMER PUNCH (6)

FIRST: Salty Smile tallied improved late-pace figure when a hard-charging winner in last; pairs up. Moondance Joy regressed in last after fast-numbers win in prior; rebound threat. Elizabeth Nicole was done in by smoking splits last time; speedy and dangerous.

SECOND: Remstin wheels back in a hurry (12 days) and gets confident price hike after making first start in nearly two years last time; forward move predicted. Preternatural delivered preternatural performance when a 10-length maiden winner in last; very dangerous. Big Engine returns from 48-day freshener for Jason Servis; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Private Beach owns sprinter's speed and projects as the swiftest of the swift with aggressive ride. Dunbar Road logged fast final fractions in both starts and will be in the catbird seat if top selection wilts in the lane. Cap de Creus exits front-end maiden score in last at Keeneland; must be factored into the mix.

FOURTH: Rewarded gets Lasix after hitting the wall in debut; experience edge in field on mostly newcomers. Princess Corey ships in from Monmouth to debut against NY-bred for Jason Servis; could be the goods. My Italian Rabbi was bought for $160K as a yearling and is by a win-early sire; follow the money.

FIFTH: Collins Ave notched solid late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner in last; keeps on giving. Thomond Park was returning from two-month absence when finishing three lengths behind top selection last time; could easily close the gap. Seanow is rested and training with a purpose; worth long look.

SIXTH: Summer Punch took backward step in last after stringing together nine in-the-money finishes; class drop seals the deal. Wildcat Belle is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Clairvoyant Lady is firing bullets for first start since March 30; more than good enough on "A" game.

SEVENTH: Cairo Cutie makes first start since moving to Todd Pletcher stable; call in "loaded" maiden field. Smooth With a Kick fits the signature Chad Brown pattern (fresh with strong training tab); be no surprise. Triumphant is speedy and could play out as the quickest of the quick; very interesting.

EIGHTH: Elios Milos was a fast-figured winner in debut at Belmont last spring and work tab culminated with crisp half-mile drill. Foolish Ghost is quick from the blocks and logged both career wins at Big Sandy; very playable. Smokin Platinum owns sit-and-pounce style and is training with a purpose for first start since December; don't overlook.

NINTH: Traci's Girl should possess intensified speed with addition of blinkers; primed for best in second start since six-month layoff. Mz Seb Pat makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; price will be tempting. Andretta is fresh and owns fast figures on best efforts; logical, short-priced threat. Taniell's Candy has worked three times since even third in debut; right in the thick of this.

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