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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Wednesday, July 28

Best bet: BELL'S THE ONE (9)

Best value: SCOTT ALAIA (4)

FIRST: Steeplechasers . . . The Happy Giant. The Mean Queen. Bodes Well . . . Next.

SECOND: Madison's Luna packs potent kick and should be ideally positioned in compact group. Clench was done in by sizzling splits last time and owns win on Spa loam; very playable. Yodel E. A. Who needed last and gets class relief; must consider.

THIRD: Step Dancer tallied rapid late-pace figure when a tough-trip second in last; three tight works in the interim seal the deal. Dreamer's Disease is speedy and will prove very tough on a soft lead. Ocala Dreamer, riding a two-race winning streak, defeated top selection by a length last out; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Scott Alaia was rested after tallying rapid final fraction when breaking maiden 45 days ago; pairs up. Air Cavalry, another last-race maiden winner, is fleet-footed and could get early jump; big-time contender. Quasar consistently fires strong efforts but rarely finds winner's circle; mixed message.

FIFTH: Raw Courage may play out as the speed on the hedge in field with 14-horse field with five newcomers. Resilient Courage owns pedigree that could play well on grass. Timbuktu, from Brad Cox barn, is from a dam that has produced a turf winner; charting a must.

SIXTH: Zuzudini compiled tight work tab for first start in 13 weeks; breakthrough predicted. Absolute Courage owns a second and a third from three starts; logical player. I Am the Law has the benefit of the rail with quick run into the first turn.

SEVENTH: Speaktomeofsummer gets class relief and makes peak start of form cycle; earned career-best number over this course last summer. Passing Out packs powerful late wallop on "A" efforts; a win and a second in two starts on Saratoga turf. Hungry Kitten is 1-for-1 on Spa sod; don't ignore. Sweet Melania is a front-running threat on best efforts; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Big Package should possess amplified kick with cutback to abbreviated dash. Yes and Yes owns speed and bested top pick by five lengths last out; very dangerous. By George could impact if pace meltdown ensues; price will be tempting.

NINTH: Bell's the One has trained swiftly since determined score at Churchill Downs last time; more to come. Ain't No Elmers, another last-race winner from CD, is quick from the gate and could play out as the controlling speed; dangerous. Lake Avenue could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat; big-time threat.

10TH: Digital Software fits the signature Chad Brown profile; needs to escape AE list. Bunker Hill makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and fired half-mile bullet on July 11; very playable. Caribbean Gold is fleet-footed and makes first start since gelded; threat. Centurion notched a placing and two thirds from last three outings; logical contender. Declareatruce regressed in last after sharp second in prior; bounce-back potential.

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