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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Thursday, Nov. 23

Best bet: JAYE JAYE (4)

Best value: LIFE IN SHAMBLES (8)

FIRST: Ormolu Lu is speedy and projects as the controlling front-runner in uninspiring opener. Interrogation endured tough trip in debut at Gulfstream in January and has trained with a purpose for return; dangerous. Pavini gets Lasix in stateside debut of Chad Brown; must consider.

SECOND: West Hills Giant makes peak start of form cycle after earning improved internal numbers in last; set for best. Are We Not Men was a fast-figured second in last; very dangerous. Taoiseach was eased Aug. 31 at Saratoga but owns two wins, a second and a third in four starts at the Big A; could take this if all is well.

THIRD: Incubator logged two sharp works since much-improved third in last at Parx; call based on price potential. Gravitating has notched swift numbers in both starts; logical threat. Westerdale was done in by pace pressure in debut; front-end danger.

FOURTH: Jaye Jaye tallied visually impressive win in debut; more to come. Looking Ready is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Gotham’s Storm was a determined maiden winner last out; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Fielding Gold makes return from 116-day layoff and noticeably picked up the tempo in final two works; ready to roll. Baratti drops and packs potent late wallop; very dangerous. Combat Controller was a one-paced fourth at this level less than two weeks ago; improvement expected.

SIXTH: True Charm fell victim to late-running bias when overwhelmed in the stretch on Belmont turf last time; switch to Big A sod makes the difference. First Appeal lost by a nose when a hard-charging second in same last race as top selection; could easily take this. Paz the Bourbon cuts back to 6 furlongs and should possess amplified kick; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Party Boat logged three tightly grouped works since game placing in last; more to give. I’m Betty G is fleet-footed and could prove tough to collar on an unchallenged lead. Well Humored moves to grass after winning both dirt starts; bred to handle surface switch.

EIGHTH: Life in Shambles fired two bullet 5-furlong drills since determined win in last; takes contentious Fall Highweight Handicap. Great Stuff also won last start and owns faster back figures; very playable. Seymourdini is 2-for-2 at the Big A; more than good enough on “A” game. Green Gratto’s speed always gives him a puncher’s chance.

NINTH: Clarke entry: Soldiers Pride has trained sharply since last start and mate Acorn Street has yet to take a backward step on the numbers; potent pairing. Bird Key drops and makes third start of form cycle; dangerous. Gator Girl owns speed and is working with a purpose; price will be tempting. Kickin Kimberly gets rider upgrade after second to a 14-length winner last time at Laurel; must consider.

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