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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Belmont selections for Sunday,  Sept. 27

Best Bet: THANKFUL (9); Best Value: STEELERSFANFORLIFE (8)

FIRST: Pure Bode is fresh and could get the early jump in field that's light on speed. Gaelic Gold owns field's fastest late-pace figures; very dangerous. I'm Fine was just a length behind a next-out winner when third in lone grass start; don't ignore.

SECOND: Mystery Bank makes third start of form cycle; career best predicted. Rakeez is rested, training with a purpose and hails from Chad Brown barn; likely underlay. Alley Oop Johnny regressed in last after game placing in previous start; rebound threat.

THIRD: Cotton Candie Cutie owns sprinter's speed and could getearly jump with aggressive ride. Cold Hearted Pearl was a fast-figured winner at Finger Lakes last time; could easily take another. Stay Fond took backward step in last after winning two in a row; must be considered.

FOURTH: Lightfoot Miss has drilled five times since fifth in blanket finish in debut; forward move expected. Spa Ready and Autostrada are uncoupled newcomers from Chad Brown; take your pick. Honey Pants concluded work tab with 3-furlong bullet; tote should provide additional clues.

FIFTH: Kitten by the Sea sheds the shades after showing improved speed in last; breakthrough on tap. Robin Sparkles is quick from gate and could play out as the controlling front-runner. Big Benny's Tribute makes first grass start for Dave Donk; price will be tempting.

SIXTH: Look Me Over compiled eye-catching work tab for first start since March; primed and ready. Sengekontacket should pack amplified late wallop with cutback from marathon trip; very playable. Forty Zip displayed improved zip in off-the-turf event last time; dangerous.

SEVENTH: The Reds shows a work slate that culminated with half-mile bullet; follow the money. Hipsky is another newcomer that's training swiftly; could be the goods. Highly Motivated, the only member of nine-horse field to have started, is from Chad Brown barn and will offer little value.

EIGHTH: Steelersfanforlife gets favorable cutback in distance and drilled four times since last start; set for bet. Uncle George was a tough-trip fifth in last and logged only win on this course and distance at spring/summer meet; big-time player. Freewheeler is speedy and will prove a very tough customer if allowed a free ride on the front end.

NINTH: Thankful tallied rapid late-pace figure when overcoming poor start to break maiden last out; pairs up. Pop a Choc exits ultra-game placing in last; logical, short-priced threat. Mrs. Danvers gets class relief and owns fast back numbers; must consider.

TENTH: Flashing Red switches to sod with suitable pedigree after sharp score in last; more to come. Lido Key was a strong second in most recent; be no surprise. Winifred J is fleet-footed and rates a puncher's chance at a beefy ticket. Positive Skew was a non-stressful fifth in last; forward move anticipated.

New York Sports