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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Saturday, Aug. 10

Best Bet: NOOSE (8); Best Value: CLOONTIA (1)

FIRST: Cloontia makes quick return (15 days) and gets class relief; forward move predicted. Wicked Freud also drops and owns fast late-pace figures on "A" efforts; dangerous. The Crocheron Kid exits sprint and could be favorably positioned near the front; don't ignore.

SECOND: Bassman Dave is fresh, owns speed and the field's fastest final numbers; call in weak group of maidens. Quiet Out East has finished second in last three starts; runner-up again? Later Cat was well bet in both starts; worth long look.

THIRD: Decorated Invader was a hard-charging second in debut; more to give. No Bad Days is from a dam that has thrown three turf winners; improvement predicted. Glynn County debuts after noticeably picking up the tempo in final workout; very interesting. 

FOURTH: Straphanger projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride in big field. Elios Milos makes peak start of form cycle and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Wicked Trick was a clear-cut maiden winner in last; must consider. Belleville Spring is training swiftly for first start since October; don't ignore.

FIFTH: Tumbling Sky compiled sneaky-good work slate; timid call in wide-open field of newcomers. Kittansett, a $1.4-million son of American Pharoah, is training as if he's loaded with talent; it's in the DNA. Irish Front is another that has compiled strong training tab; happy hunting.

SIXTH: Noble Freud should be tighter in second start since five-month layoff; forward move predicted. Paper Clip succumbed to sizzling splits in last; worth long look. Catch a Thrill fired 3-furlong bullet since game placing in last; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Cardiac Kid, the only member of 10-horse field to have started, gets Lasix after speed and fade in debut; experience is key. Ox Bridge shows a work tab that culminated with crisp 5-furlong drill; follow the money. Sprawl is another newcomer that's training sharply; charting a must.

EIGHTH: Noose tallied swift late-pace figure when a five-length winner in debut; sharp work tab in the interim is the clincher. King Snake set fast fractions when a strong second as the favorite in first start; very interesting. Peruvian Boy bested King Snake by a nose when breaking maiden in last; big-time player if pace meltdown ensues.

NINTH: Krampus owns tight recent work slate and favorable sit-and-pounce running style; close call in contentious Fourstardave Handicap. Gidu is fleet-footed and could prove very tough to collar on an unchallenged lead. March to the Arch failed to deliver best on yielding ground last time; dangerous on firmer footing. Raging Bull is 2-for-2 on Spa sod; must be factored into the mix.

TENTH: Slimey won second straight with eye-catching last-to-first move on July 26; keeps on giving. Alisio is speedy and training with a purpose; very dangerous. Stonesintheroad also is quick from the gate and hails from white-hot Jeremiah Englehart barn; must consider.

ELEVENTH: Valmont projects as the controlling front-runner in bulky group. Blue Parrot runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Magnesite should pack amplified kick with cutback to abbreviated sprint; very interesting. Hudson Overpass was a strong second in most recent start; right in the thick of this.

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