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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews Saratoga selections for Saturday, July 31

Best Bet: SECRET TIME (7); Best Value: KEEPMEINMIND (9)

FIRST: Woodline logged tight work tab since improved placing on June 11; more to come. Life Is Great was a front-running third in debut; dangerous. Master Game, a $300k yearling, fired eye-catching 5-furlong drill on Monday; could be the goods.

SECOND: Fast Gordon tallied career-best late-pace figure in last start; added ground should play to strength. Majestic Sky regressed in last after pairing up placings in previous two; very playable. Bielefeld could be ideally positioned in the stalker's seat; don't ignore.

THIRD: Noda entry: Flat Awesome Jenny was a hard-charging winner in last and mate Miss Liana owns speed and has won three of last five; potent pairing. Cartwheel is fleet-footed and fresh; dangerous. Lady By Choice took backward step in last after sharp second in previous start; rebound threat.

FOURTH: Tamburro's Sox was a non-stressful fourth after poor start in debut; forward move predicted. Noble Conquest is improving with each start; very interesting. Nightspot makes third start of form cycle; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Behind the Couch won by more than five lengths on Fourth of July at Pimlico; ready for prime time. Chasing Cara is speedy and will be aided by return to dirt and cutback to sprint; worth long look. Shanes Pretty Lady could be sitting in the catbird seat if pace meltdown ensues.

SIXTH: Ohtwoohthreefive gets additional real estate after hard-charging placing in sprint debut; timid call in race with 10 newcomers. Sweeping Giant shows work slate that culminated with 7-furlong bullet; charting a must. Royal Spirit also logged best 7-furlong drill of the morning when working in company with "Giant" for Todd Pletcher; good luck attempting to separate uncoupled first timers. Nyquest Nix is from a dam that has thrown a turf winner; must consider.

SEVENTH: Secret Time is training with a purpose for first start April; breakthrough predicted. Love and Thunder notched fast late-pace figures when second in both stateside starts; runner-up again? Rivendell exits sprints and could be positioned near the front in field that's light on speed; don't dismiss.

EIGHTH: Montauk Traffic packs potent late kick and lands in Vanderbilt Stakes with ample speed. Special Reserve has won four of last five and could be ideally placed in the stalker's seat; very dangerous. Mischevious Alex owns fast figures and owns seven victories from 13 starts; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Keepmeinmind has trained impressively since tallying sizzling final fraction in Ohio Derby; career-best predicted. Essential Quality, also working strongly, was rested after clear-cut win in Belmont Stakes; likely underlay. Masqueparade bested top selection by a half-length when winning Ohio Derby on June 26; must be factored into the mix.

TENTH: Channel Cat has the benefit of the hedge and should be situated on or near the lead with proper handling. Moon Over Miami runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if fractions get hot and hectic. Cross Border, 5-for-6 on Spa sod, also will be aided by swift splits.

ELEVENTH: Mandate tallied rapid final fraction when a tough-trip second in last; rates close call in wide-open nightcap. Sharp Prospect has won three of last four by takes suspicious price drop; must take the good with the bad. Vettori Kin fired 5-furlong bullet on July 21 and was a determined winner at this level three starts back; worth long look. Tizzarunner and Clear Vision both own a strong late wallop and either could impact if pace meltdown comes to pass.

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