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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, Sept. 12

Best bet: WHAT'S TO BLAME (4)

Best value: ZONIC (5)

FIRST: Pure Praise tallied deceptively fast late-pace figure in last; two works in the interim seal the deal. Puparee packs solid kick on best efforts; price will be tempting. Bareeqa owns speed and drops; must consider.

SECOND: Ownitifyouwantit returns to dirt and makes first start since gelded; breakthrough predicted. Mubarmaj fired 5-furlong bullet since fast-figured third in debut; big-time danger. Road to Meath is training with a purpose for return from layoff for Chad Brown; could easily take this.

THIRD: Clench projects as the speed on the rail with aggressive ride. Hawaiian Noises could be sitting in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Hardcore Folklore has won four of last six starts; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: What's to Blame logs fast final fractions and compiled eye-catching work slate for first start since June. Higher Authority makes first start since moving to Jason Servis stable; worth long look. Deft is quick from gate and can prove very tough on a soft lead.

FIFTH: Zonic packs potent late wallop in field with ample speed; pace makes the race. Speightful Kitten is working sharply for first start in more than five months; very interesting. Sudden Surprise could prove very hard to catch if able to outsprint other front-runners.

SIXTH: Go Poke the Bear notched solid late-pace figure when a tough-trip third in last; rates close call. Southern Brigade has delivered strong efforts in last two starts; could easily take this. Artemus Bridge gets confident price hike after determined win in lone turf start last time; very playable.

SEVENTH: Honor Way compiled tight work tab for first start in eight weeks; call based on price potential. Pauseforthecause is fresh and owns fast back numbers; very interesting. Go Noni Go should pack amplified late kick with cutback to sprint.

EIGHTH: Stunning Beauty makes quick return (14 days), drops and gets added ground; forward move predicted. Big Expense is fleet-footed and makes peak start of form cycle; worth long look. Handle With Care also is speedy and pulls seven pounds from top two; don't ignore. Low Is Laine could impact at beefy ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

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