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Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, July 2

Best bet: WICKED TITLE (4)

Best value: NICODEMUS (7)

FIRST: Calidad was compromised by wide trip in last; rates call based on price potential. Sharp Starr also raced wide in same last race as top selection; must consider. Central Perk debuts for Linda Rice; follow the money.

SECOND: True Gold gets class relief, rider upgrade and logged 5-furlong work since last start; forward move predicted. Nutzforboltz wheels back in a hurry after non-stressful prep last week; dangerous. Honorable Hero notched all three wins on Belmont sod; very interesting.

THIRD: Blackjack Davey gets added ground after late-running eighth in debut; more to give. Jade's Dream exits much-improved placing at 64-1 last time; worth long look. Royal Suspect makes first start since moving to Bruce Levine barn; don't ignore. Microsecond was a bad third as the favorite in last; for chalk lovers only.

FOURTH: Wicked Title packs amplified wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs. Flashpackinbarbie is fresh and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Cairo Queen also owns speed and tallied only win at Belmont last fall; must be factored into the mix.

FIFTH: Cotton Candie Cutie fired eye-catching half-mile bullet since last start; breakthrough expected. Stay Fond owns stalker's style and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Tayler's the Boss owns competitive back numbers; don't ignore.

SIXTH: Mister Winston tallied rapid late-pace figure when a determined winner in debut; pairs up. Life Changer, another debut winner, is speedy and could play out as the controlling front-runner. Mr. Shortandsimple is 1-for-1 at Belmont; short and simple.

SEVENTH: Nicodemus gets class relief and returns to dirt; sitting on "A" effort. Sniper Shot visually and numerically impressed when winning last start by nearly seven lengths; very dangerous. No Dozing is quick from the gate and compiled sharp, recent work slate; very playable.

EIGHTH: Fetching logged solid final fraction when a clear-cut winner on Belmont sod on June 12; sharp recent form is the clincher. Fifty Five is 11-for-22 and hails from Chad Brown; for those that can't see beyond the obvious. War Canoe, also from Brown barn, packs potent kick on best efforts.

NINTH: Central Capital was pace- and position-compromised last time; more to come in second start since August. Molly's Nighthawk also was victimized by tough trip in last; dangerous. Apollo's Abraxas owns sprinter's speed and should be favorably positioned near the front; worth long look at long price. Cainudothetwist shows work sate that culminated with swift half-mile drill; stay tuned to the tote.

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