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Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Thursday, July 23


Best value: MORE THAN STRIKING (10)

FIRST: Optimus Prime has won four of five stateside starts; keeps on giving. Pravalaguna won both starts by open lengths; very dangerous. Redicean is 1-for-1 over the Spa hurdles; must consider.

SECOND: Invest fired half-mile bullet since regressing in last start; rebounds on Thursday. Carthon owns fast late-pace figures; worth long look. Call the Cat makes third start of form cycle; don't ignore.

THIRD: Lost Lake is the runner in seven-horse field that has started and is from a dam that has thrown a turf winner. Uptown Flirt compiled sneaky-good work tab; very interesting. Anamuya debuts for Wes Ward; let the money be your guide.

FOURTH: Dixie Cannon has worked four times since subpar effort at Laurel last out; "A" game predicted. Fresco has logged fast figures in all three starts but has failed as the favorite in last two; proceed with caution at short odds. Officer Hutchy ran seventh of eight Sunday but could wheel back and make second grass start for Linda Rice; worth long look. 

FIFTH: New Frontier is speedy and rested and tallied career-best number at Spa last summer. Ahead of Plan fits the classic Chad Brown profile (strong work tab after long layoff); must consider. O'Trouble finished third in both starts; same result on Thursday?

SIXTH: Pure Wow own sprinter's speed and projects as the controlling front-runner with proper handling. Kitten by the Sea is training with a purpose for first start since claimed by Todd Pletcher; very dangerous. Bareeqa owns three wins from eight starts on Saratoga turf; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Puffery tallied deceptively fast late-pace figure when third in first start since four-month absence; duly tightened. Fierce Lady is fleet-footed and can prove very tough on a soft lead. Bertranda owns two wins, four seconds and two thirds from last nine starts; likely underlay.

EIGHTH: Souper Energizer should pack amplified late wallop with cutback to abbreviated sprint; breakthrough predicted. French Reef compiled eye-catching work tab for first since last fall for Chad Brown; be no surprise. Union Colonel has finished second in last three starts; runner-up again?

NINTH: Admiral Lynch looms the quickest of the quick with aggressive handling; two crisp drills since last start seal the deal. Wendell Fong also is training sharply and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Mihos, another with swift workout tab, also would be aided by pace meltdown. 

10TH: More Than Striking is quick from the gate and could get early jump in wide-open nightcap. Financialstability owns a win and a third from two starts on Saratoga loam; dangerous. Mine the Coin exits fast-figured placing in last; worth long look. Continuum drops after losing all chance at the start last time; don't ignore.

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