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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Wednesday, July 17

Best bet: DAKOTA'S DUDE (4)

Best value: ARDARA BELLE (6)

FIRST: Markhan is riding a three-race winning steak; call in event that has no place on a parimutuel wagering card. Repeat Repeat could play out as the main speed. Whitman's Poetry has finished second in six of last eight starts; minor award again?

SECOND: Theitalianamerican owns field's fastest late-pace figures and added ground should play to strength. Mission Wrapitup compiled solid work tab for first start since front-running score in debut on May 31; very dangerous. Listentoyourheart also won first start in wire-to-wire fashion; must be considered.

THIRD: Gemonteer projects as the controlling speed with aggressive ride. Fully Vested owns stalker's style and could be in the garden spot if top selection wilts in the lane. Discretionary Marq is quick from gate and has won four of last six starts; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Dakota's Dude tallied swift final fraction when a clear-cut winner in last; more to come. Hijacker owns positional speed and solid numbers; dangerous. Hope Again gets confident price hike after two-length score in last at Monmouth; very interesting.

FIFTH: Just Fly returns to dirt after taking backward step in second career start; half-mile bullet last week seals the deal. Ain't None Lucky was third to a 10-length winner in debut; brings Maryland rider for first local start. Myawaya makes first start after noticeably picking up the tempo in final workout; stay tuned to the tote.

SIXTH: Ardara Belle outworked 81 rivals in half-mile drill on July 6 and looms the controlling speed with return to turf. Matzo Bella owns stalker's style and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Tiple made last-to-first rally to break maiden last out; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Tiberius Mercurius tallied strong late-pace figure when an even third in last; two half-mile works in the interim seal it. Embellisher is fleet-footed and could prove very tough to collar on an unchallenged lead. Downside Risk owns three seconds from four starts; must consider. Good Governance (tight work tab) and Border Town (also training sharply) are uncoupled newcomers from the Chad Brown barn; happy hunting.

EIGHTH: Maiden Beauty withstood pace pressure when a front-end winner in last; more to give. Break Curfew also is quick from the gate and hails from Chad Brown barn; be no surprise. Takecharge Mirella regressed in last after pairing up fast-figured wins in prior two starts; bounce-back threat.

NINTH: Bluegrass Jamboree owns stalker's style and is favorably posted outside in contentious field. Carrera Cat has notched four, wire-to-wire wins in a row; big-time player. Honor Way was a hard-charging victor at this level in last; right in the thick of this.

10TH: Strongerthanuknow, from a dam that has produced a turf winner, moves to grass after battling through fast fractions and fading in debut; controlling speed. Violent Point was an even third when favored in first start; improvement expected. Light in the Sky is from a dam that has dropped three grass winners and makes debut for Linda Rice; must be factored into the mix. Tokyo Bay debuts for barn (Gary Gullo) that won two races on Opening Day; don't ignore.

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