TODAY'S PAPER
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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, Oct. 1

Best bet: QUEEN KAHEN (2)

Best value: RAPT (4)

FIRST: Made My Day is training sharply for first start with maiden-claiming tag; rates close call based on price potential. Accessible also gets class relief and should pack enhanced kick with cutback from marathon trip. Vicarage was a clear-cut second in last; must consider.

SECOND: Queen Kahen loves Belmont loam and fired swift half-mile breeze for return to favorite footing. Forgotten Hero is speedy and returns to dirt; dangerous. Tied Up regressed in last outing after winning eight of nine starts; more than good enough on "A" game.

THIRD: South Africa makes peak start of form cycle and projects as the main speed. Tackle could be sitting in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Judge Alexander, another that would be aided by fast fractions, logged crisp half-mile work since debut; don't ignore.

FOURTH: Rapt returns to claiming ranks after being compromised by slow splits last out; breakthrough predicted. Pipes is fleet-footed and fresh and could capitalize on unchallenged lead. Graded On a Curve logged both career wins on Belmont sod; logical, short-priced player.

FIFTH: Releasethethunder drops and gets favorable cutback in distance after tough trip last time. Sklyer's Scramjet owns speed and fast back numbers; price plunge in first start since claimed blurs the picture. Wegotoldyougotsold was a game third in last start and outworked 48 rivals in half-mile drill last week; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Colloquist has drilled three times since besting a next-out winner when second in last; career best anticipated. Grandmas Favorite returns to maiden claimers and makes third outing since nearly two-year absence; very dangerous. Complex System owns three seconds and a third from four starts; another minor prize?

SEVENTH: Knockout Punch runs late and has trained with a purpose since game placing in July; call based on price. Operative should pack amplified kick with cutback to 7 furlongs; worth long look. Propensity bested top selection by more than a length two starts back and consistently delivers strong efforts; big-time player. Mitzrayim notched only win on Belmont turf at spring/summer meet; don't dismiss.

EIGHTH: Mashnee Girl tallied solid final fraction when a front-end winner in last; pairs up. Stimulus Check visually impressed when winning by nearly five lengths in debut; very dangerous. Irish Constitution was in over her head in Grade I Spinaway Stakes last out; must consider back in with NY-breds.

NINTH: Stash My Money gets class relief in first start for Greg DiPrima barn; weakness of field is selection's strength. Competitive Cloud is fleet-footed, rested and drops; very playable. Liquor logged solid numbers in both starts; dangerous. Imperio D owns speed but lacks heart; handle with care at short odds.

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