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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Friday, July 17

Best bet: OPERATIVE (10)

Best value: GHOST GAME (3)

FIRST: Bundibunan packs potent late kick and should relish 11-furlong trip. Can'thelpbelieving is firing bullets for return and owns a win on Spa sod; very dangerous. Legit has the proper bloodlines to excel on grass; must consider.

SECOND: Dawn's Early Light logged two crisp works since shipping to Saratoga; set for breakthrough. Fridaybeers owns speed and drops; big-time player. Breed's Hill makes first start since switching to Jeremiah Englehart barn; don't ignore.

THIRD: Ghost Game is riding a forward line on late-pace and final figures; sharp half-mile drill on July 8 seals the deal. The Rock Says is fleet-footed and owns swift numbers; could easily take this. First Rate ships up from South Florida for Saffie Joseph Jr.; worth long look.

FOURTH: Customerexperience exits hard-charging score in last at Gulfstream Park; pairs up wins. Pick Up the Fone also won last start at GP; speedy and playable. Stunning Munnings chased swift splits when a solid third in last; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Fast Gordon makes turf debut for Linda Rice; forward move predicted. Sandro the Great was pace-compromised last out; amplified kick with cutback to shorter route. Justintimeforwine is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on a soft lead.

SIXTH: Big Thicket was a tough-trip second in last; rates close call. Vintage Hollywood regressed in last after fast-figured placing in prior; rebound potential. Mission Wrapitup gets class relief and logs swift numbers on best efforts; very dangerous.

SEVENTH: Xenobia logged four tight works since speed and fade versus tougher last time; gets nod by slimmest of margins. Clara Peeters visually and numerically impressed when winning last; could easily be the top pick. Hogans Holiday is training with a purpose for first start since December; more than good enough on "A" game.

EIGHTH: Turf War is rested and could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat. Guacamole is speedy and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Lady Lawyer was a game second in U.S. debut last out; Euro-bounces on Friday?

NINTH: Honor Way fired eye-catching 5-furlong bullet drill since determined victory last month; keeps on giving in ultracompetitive dash. Risky Mandate also notched a best-of-the-morning 5-furlong workout since last start; was a winner at the distance at the Spa last summer. Please Flatter Me was second to a repeat winner in last; don't overlook. Indian Pride owns two wins and a third from three starts; likely underlay. 

10TH: Operative makes first start with maiden-claiming tag after improved fifth in last; more to come. Diannesimpazible was compromised by wide trip in last; right in the thick of this. Golconda gets rider upgrade and makes second start since four-month pause; very interesting. Frozen Account is from a dam that has thrown two turf winners; price will be tempting.

New York Sports