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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Friday, July 5

Best bet: WILL DID IT (5)

Best value: HOMELAND SECURITY (7)

FIRST: Cottonwood Falls logged tight work tab since moving to new barn; call based on price potential. Altea has all the earmarks of a classic Chad Brown underlay; for chalk lovers only. Alasaayil owns speed and could play out as the controlling front-runner.

SECOND: Lovely La La owns field's fastest numbers and hails from Chad Brown barn; if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Wantagh Queen is training with a purpose for first start since April; very interesting. Alabama Bound was compromised by wide trip in last; more to give in second start since seven-month layoff.

THIRD: Hokulea should pack enhanced kick with slight cutback in distance. There He Goes is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Desert Lights owns favorable stalker's style; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Gallant Bid wheels back in a hurry and drops after even sixth this past Sunday; more to come. No Mo Promises has been idle since winning debut in fall of '17; dangerous if primed for comeback. Elenzee is speedy and will prove a tough customer on an unchallenged lead. No Regrets dueled through fast fractions last time; must be considered.

FIFTH: Will Did It makes quick return after hard-charging victory just eight days ago; pairs up wins. Happy Farm is fresh, owns fast figures and hails from Jason Servis stable; logical, short-priced player. Royal Asset owns speed and holds sharp current condition; must be factored into the mix.

SIXTH: Romantic Pursuit compiled four tight works since willing second on May 11; set for breakthrough. Pallas Athene notched deceptively fast late-pace figure when ninth in debut; worth long look at long price. Amarone exits front-running placing in last; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Homeland Security notched five tightly spaced works since last start and is a four-time winner on Belmont turf; good betting race. Gaining has been the runner-up as the favorite in both stateside starts; short-priced second again? Lemon Zip is riding a three-race winning streak and is 1-for-1 at the 12-furlong distance; very interesting.

EIGHTH: Cookie Dough regressed last time after fast-figured, front-running third in prior; bounces back on Friday. Royal Charlotte has yet to taste defeat in three starts for Chad Brown; could easily take another. Sue's Fortune owns three wins and a second from five starts; must be factored into the mix.

NINTH: Mrs. Orb is rested, training with a purpose and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride; throw deep in wide-open nightcap. Moyne Spun has finished second in last three outings; another minor award? Valencia Vale drops into maiden claimer and gets added ground; wake-up potential. Molly's Nighthawk was a tough-trip third in last; don't overlook.

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