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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct picks for Dec. 18


Best Value: LITTLE GIDDING (2)

FIRST: Quibbler logged three tight works since fading badly in October; timid call in weak opener. Wild Image has finished second in both starts; continues trend? Nagging Gigee could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

SECOND: Little Gidding is fleet-footed and owns two wins at the distance; call based on price. Midnight Champagne should pack amplified kick with cutback to abbreviated sprint. Rock Show can be competitive on best efforts.

THIRD: Sacred Season could play out as the controlling speed in compact field. Surprise Cameo gets class relief and has the benefit of the rail; very dangerous. Here Comes Rosie regressed in last after fast-figured win in prior; rebound threat.

FOURTH: How’s Your Sugar drops after tough-trip in the mud last out; needs scratches to get in. Bibbo gets class relief, adds blinkers and moves to dirt; improvement predicted. Bunyaan gets Lasix for potent second-out stable; worth long look. Table Talk is speedy and could be aided by move to inner strip; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Congarette compiled tight work tab for first dirt start; throw deep in wide-open field. Irish Heroine logged fast numbers in both starts but has been sidelined for 468 days; mixed message. Counter Culture gets the meds after finishing second to runaway winner last time; logical player. Stone Supplier made premature move to the lead and faded last time; dangerous.

SIXTH: Fleet First owns fast late pace figures on best efforts and is training with a purpose for first start since May. Summit Moon notched improved internal numbers in last and will offer generous ticket; worth long look. Kowboy Boots logs solid numbers but shows light work tab for first start in seven weeks; must take the good with the bad.

SEVENTH: Forty Nine Watts drops after being pace and position compromised last out. Maximus Mike is riding a forward line on pace and final figures and could be primed for best in third start since seven-month layoff. Chairman Now has been logging solid efforts at FL and fired half-mile bullet on Dec. 9; must consider.

EIGHTH: Rowd E Allie projects as the controlling speed on the rail with aggressive ride. Coramoss was a comfortable winner in last and could easily pair up victories. Hush Now tallied fast numbers in last two outings; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Whodattcat owns speed and fired half-mile bullet on Dec. 9; drop to lifetime low seals the deal. Whimsey’s Girl has finished second at this level in last two starts; logical, short-priced player. Valerie’s Spirit failed to handle turf last time but bested a next-out winner when second on dirt two starts back; rebound potential. Wantagh Queen owns competitive figures on ‘A’ efforts.

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