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Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, Oct. 29

Best bet: ALLURED (1)

Best value: MALIBU ANTHEM (7)

FIRST: Allured drops after earning improved pace and final numbers in last; set for breakthrough in third start since nine-month layoff. Fried Rice King regressed in last after fast-figured win in prior; rebound threat. Latin Love Bug could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

SECOND: Danzigwiththestars was a much-improved second in last; more to come. Boss Bear wheels back in a hurry after non-threatening seventh in NY-bred stakes this past Saturday; worth long look with return to maiden ranks. Storm Shooter failed to last after setting pressured pace when 70 cents on the dollar in debut; short-priced disappointment once again?

THIRD: Wishes and Dreams was freshened after game placing in key race in August; rested and ready to roll. Buyer's Remorse was speed-sharpened on turf last out; very dangerous. Madera coughed up a three-length lead in the stretch when third in well-bet debut; tighter with race under belt.

FOURTH: New York's Finest is rested, training with a purpose and projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Pagliacci could be sitting in the garden spot if fractions get fast and furious; very playable. Durkin's Call is another that would be aided by pace meltdown. Duncastle was a front-end winner in last; don't dismiss.

FIFTH: Fair Lassie gets confident two-level price boost after wire-to-wire win last; pairs up. Jc's Shooting Star drops and gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs; very dangerous. Forgotten Hero is another that jumps in class after front-end score in most recent; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Confectioner ships in from Maryland after change-of-pace fourth at Laurel last out; call based on price potential in wide-open turf dash. Souper Energizer owns two seconds and three thirds from nine starts; another minor award? Justintimeforwine owns speed but lacks heart; puncher's chance at a price.

SEVENTH: Malibu Anthem returns to dirt, adds blinkers and cuts back to sprint; career best predicted. Tactical Move fired half-mile bullet since even fourth in debut; dangerous. Risk Model was second at 80 cents on the dollar last time; massive underlay once again.

EIGHTH: True Valour gets class relief and should pack enhanced late wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs; rates close call. Mo Maverick is fleet-footed and training swiftly for first start in nearly a year; big-time player. White Flag logged four of five career wins on Belmont sod; must be factored into the mix.

NINTH: Ava K's Girl flashed improved speed after poor start last; return to turf and third start of form cycle seal the deal. Abby Normal drops and gets favorable cutback; very interesting. Itsakeyper was a game second in last; must consider. Appreciate logged only win on Belmont sod; price will be tempting.

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