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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Friday, July 23

Best bet: DEVIL'S CODE (8)

Best value: CLOSERTOTHEHEART (10)

FIRST: Buckingham Prince, a strong second in last, is only member of nine-horse field to have raced. Unbridled Bomber noticeably picked up the tempo in final work; follow the money. Stolen Base fired 5-furlong bullet at Keeneland on July 6; could be a runner.

SECOND: The Important One should be aided by cutback to abbreviated dash. Time Limit could play out as the speed of the speed; dangerous. Fetching was sandwiched between next-out winners when a sharp second in last; could easily take this.

THIRD: Charleston Strong owns sprinter's speed and adds blinkers; controlling front-runner with proper ride. Realm of Law has trained strongly since solid third in last; big-time threat. Mubtadaa bested second selection by a half-length in last; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Dark Money makes first start since claimed after clear-cut win at this level in last. Big Mountain is a front-running threat on best efforts. Manifest Destiny owns two wins on Spa loam; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Gailhorsewind should pack intensified wallop with cutback to shorter sprint. Sand and Sea looms the swiftest of the swift with aggressive handling; very playable. Tuscan Queen has trained strongly since game third in debut; big-time player.

SIXTH: Ajourneytofreedom is fresh, training consistently and gets class relief; rates close call. He's No Lemon is 2-for-2 on Saratoga turf; worth long look. Real Factor owns speed and makes third start of form cycle; don't ignore. On dirt: Dack Janiel's, American Tattoo, Math Wizard.

SEVENTH: Forest Spirit could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat. Deputy Flag is speedy but 0-for-9 at the distance; mixed message. Taino never fired when heavily bet on sloppy surface last time; improves on dry land?

EIGHTH: Devil's Code logged only win at 7-furlong distance and fired 5-furlong bullet for first start in seven weeks; primed. Quickflash logged crisp half-mile drill since sharp placing in last; dangerous. Big Bobby delivered strong efforts in both starts; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Amy C overcame rough start when a determined winner in stateside debut; more to come. Jouster is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Tobys Heart, 1-for-1 on Spa sod, could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

10TH: Closertotheheart regressed in last after game placing in prior; rebounds. Thrill is training with a purpose for first start in nearly a year for potent layoff stable; very interesting. Epicurean is quick from gate and could easily take this on a soft lead. Adele Kat should pack enhanced kick with cutback to shorter spring; don't dismiss. On dirt: Ms Penelopepitstop, Commandandcontrol.

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