TODAY'S PAPER
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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Thursday, April 29

Best bet: SIRANEUSE (5)

Best value: BIG EASY EMPIRE (1)

FIRST: Big Easy Empire is fresh, owns positional speed and is training sharply; call based on price. Holy Emperor has finished second in last two starts; runner-up again? Johnnypump was a strong third in last; must consider.

SECOND: Imperio D regressed in last after top-figured win in prior; rebounds. Big Boy Mo needed last and owns fast back numbers. Beach Front could be ideally placed in the stalker's seat; worth long look.

THIRD: L'Indiscret gets class relief and compiled swift work tab; breakthrough predicted. Wicked Happy logged fastest numbers on Belmont sod last fall; dangerous. Cosmic Kitten makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; price will be tempting.

FOURTH: City Temper set swift fractions when a front-end winner in last; pairs up. Cover Photo drops and packs potent kick on "A" efforts. Take Charge Tina owns swift back numbers; don't ignore.

FIFTH: Siraneuse visually and numerically impressed when winning debut by five lengths at Turfway Park in March; handles move to grass. Caldee is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Technical Analysis fits the classic Chad Brown profile; be no surprise.

SIXTH: Mystery Messenger ships in from SoCal and consistently logs fast numbers; nice fit with the locals at this level. Kitten's Cat, another that arrives from Santa Anita, could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Vici makes first start since claimed by high-percentage barn; don't dismiss.

SEVENTH: Kantarmaci entry: Dust Devil dusted five rivals when a much-the-best winner in most recent and mate Indian Counselor is riding a two-race winning streak; potent pairing. Obsessed, another last-race victor, makes first start since claimed; dangerous. Hometown also won last and has trained sharply in the interim for Chad Brown; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Dynadrive is 1-for-1 on Belmont turf and owns running style and pedigree that should play well at 1 1/4 miles. Microsecond is quick from gate and could play out as the dominant speed with heads-up handling. Mr. Alec is fresh and owns a win at the marathon trip; must be factored into the mix.

NINTH: Scocciatore fired half-mile bullet for first start since last summer; ready to roll. Knockout Punch packs potent late punch and looms the prime beneficiary if fractions get hot and hectic. Lyrical Poet has trained swiftly since front-running score in debut at Turfway; could easily take this. Our Destiny is speedy and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

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