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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Friday, Oct. 4

Best bet: WAY SMART (6)

Best value: LUCKY RAMSEY (3)

FIRST: Strategic Outlook cuts back to sprint after displaying improved speed in last; amplified kick predicted. Impunity was more than seven lengths clear of third runner when a game second in last; dangerous. Mine the Coin owns speed and fast figures but has failed as the favorite in three of last four starts; must take the good with the bad.

SECOND: Mazal Eighteen logged half-mile work since improved placing in last; more to give. Single Verse has been the runner-up all three starts; second again? Jen's Battle is riding a forward line on the numbers and owns positional speed; must consider.

THIRD: Lucky Ramsey notched solid late-pace figure when a sharp second in last; more in the tank. Daddy D T compiled tight work tab for first start since March for Rudy Rodriguez; worth long look. Harv Won't Tap is fresh and packs potent kick on "A" efforts; very interesting.

FOURTH: Mo Diddley is fleet-footed and drops; takes this if not damaged goods. Indian Guide runs late and could be in the garden spot if top selection wilts in the lane. Orpheus is another with a stretch kick that would benefit from pace meltdown.

FIFTH: Willing to Speed tallied fast figures in three starts on Belmont sod at spring/summer meeting; rates close call. Thomond Park turns back to shorter route and should possess intensified wallop; dangerous. Southern Brigade regressed in last after strong efforts in prior two starts; must consider.

SIXTH: Way Smart has trained with a purpose since determined win on Spa sod in August; pairs up. Short Pour also was a victor on Saratoga grass in most recent and could play out as the main speed in bulky field; very dangerous. Niko's Dream, another last-race winner on Spa turf, delivers strong efforts with machinelike consistency; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Katama Moonlight logged fast late-pace figures in both starts; stretch to mile should be right in her wheelhouse. Razeena bested a next-out winner when a strong second in lone start on Belmont loam; dangerous. Blahnik makes quick return (12 days) and moves to dirt; wake-up potential.

EIGHTH: Justintimeforwine displayed out-of-the-blue speed in last start and drilled a crisp half-mile in the interim; call based on price in wide-open nightcap. Kierkegaard tallied solid final fraction when fourth at Kentucky Downs last time; big-time player. Bellarmine Hall fired eye-catching half-mile bullet since tough-trip fifth in debut; improvement expected. Perpetrate gets Lasix and makes turf debut for Mike Stidham; very interesting.

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