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Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Friday, June 11


Best value: TRUTH HURTS (7)

FIRST: Artemus Citylimits was a determined winner the first time he touched Belmont turf; pairs up. Duncastle is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Mystery Messenger takes mysterious price plunge for first local start; damaged goods? Castagno should pack amplified wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs.

SECOND: Lune Lake projects as the quickest of the quick in compact field. Viradia is fresh and owns fast figures; dangerous. Frills could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat; must consider.

THIRD: Villainous gets confident two-level price hike after sitting out "jail" period since claimed; call in small but contentious group. Chris and Dave owns a win and a second in two starts at Belmont; worth long look. Heirloom Kitten is fleet-footed and training sharply; very interesting. Identifier could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

FOURTH: Gongheifatchoy drops, makes quick return and is riding a forward line on the numbers; big price seals the deal. Flippin Fun was a fast-closing second in last; dangerous. Dutchmen Forever regressed in last after pairing up placings in prior two; rebound threat.

FIFTH: Stefanie On Fleek makes first start since moving to Rudy Rodriguez barn; "A" game predicted. Doll, also from Rodriguez stable, owns positional speed; big-time player. Corey Scores returns to claiming ranks after taking backward step in last; bounce-back potential.

SIXTH: Caumsett was dueled into defeat last time; softer flow predicted. Kreesa La Wrote was bested by a repeat winner when second in same last race as top selection; very playable. Epona's Dream was a close-up third at this level last out; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Truth Hurts turns back to sprint and should pack intensified kick at juicy ticket. Slam Dunk is fresh and owns solid numbers; worth long look. Timely Tradition, an 11-time winner from 36 starts, is speedy and could prove tough on a soft lead.

EIGHTH: First Line moves to grass after winning second straight on May 30; handles surface switch. Good Old Boy has trained sharply since logging third career win on Belmont sod last out; dangerous. Compliant consistently delivers strong efforts for Chad Brown; if betting underlays are your thing.

NINTH: Masked Marauder returns to grass and drops into maiden claimers; rates close call in wide-open nightcap. Majestic Sky was a two-move second in last; very dangerous. Artie's Lit should move forward with race under belt; don't ignore. Boom Boom Kaboom needed last and owns fast numbers on best efforts. Portfolio Hedge, second in both starts, must be considered if able to escape AE list.

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