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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Aqueduct selections for Sunday, Jan. 26

Best Bet: CRUISE AND DANZE (7); Best Value: STEP TO THE BANK (1)

FIRST: Step to the Bank is speedy and firing bullets for first start since May; career-best effort was logged after similar layoff. Tri Saint Lorenzo could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall. Fast Break owns fast numbers but has failed as the favorite in all three starts; mixed message.

SECOND: Timely Tradition drops after even fifth in last; forward move predicted. First Forever notched two of three wins at the distance; very interesting. Letmetakethiscall is fleet-footed and needed last; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Massey Hall is quick from gate and outworked 110 rivals in half-mile drill on Jan. 11; primed for first local start. Stone Breaker owns three wins, a second and a third from five starts; logical threat. Toohottoevenspeak could impact if pace meltdown ensues; price will be tempting.

FOURTH: Princess in Charge gets class relief and favorable cutback in distance; set for breakthrough. Gray Witch is speedy and will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Roses From Ben needed last; wake-up potential at beefy ticket.

FIFTH: Elios Milos tallied solid late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner in last; pairs up. Air On Fire owns speed and fast numbers but has been sidelined since July; must take the good with the bad. Flat Rate was a touch short in the lane when making first start since five-month layoff last time; tighter on Sunday.

SIXTH: Piedi Bianchi compiled eye-catching work slate for first start in nearly a year; mare has a history of firing big efforts when fresh and rested. Bridlewood Cat is fleet-footed and owns swift numbers; likely underlay. Posse Needed could land in exotics at big ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

SEVENTH: Cruise and Danze logged career-best late-pace figure when a game second in last; added furlong plays to strength. Love of My Heart overcame fast fractions when a sharp maiden winner in last; very dangerous. Miss Marissa fired 5-furlong bullet for first start in seven weeks; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Talespin has shown the ability to pass horses in the stretch and lands in weak field with ample speed. Apex Predator was a clear-cut second in last; big-time player. Pirelli Tower has been on the bench since November of '18 but drops to lifetime low and makes first start since gelded; must consider. Gratto Swing makes third start of form cycle after showing improved early zip in last; very interesting.

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