Broken Clouds 42° Good Evening
Broken Clouds 42° Good Evening

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Dec. 22

Best Bet: SILBERADO (1); Best Value: GOING STRONG (5)

FIRST: Silberado makes first start since gelded and first start since claimed; big effort predicted. Love Your Buttons compiled tight work tab for first start since three-month layoff; very dangerous. Distorted Admiral makes first dirt start with a maiden-claiming tag; must consider.

SECOND: Steve’s Image ships downstate after 7-length score at Finger Lakes last time; ready for prime time. Pegasus Red owns fast late-pace figures and makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; very dangerous. Mighty Zealous, claimed by Rudy Rodriguez last out, has finished second in last two; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: A Place to Shine has worked three times since fast-figured second in last at Parx; more to come. Friend of Liberty gets price boost after clear-cut win in last; very playable. She’s So Fine is training consistently for first start since May and is 1-for-1 at the Big A; must be considered.

FOURTH: Super Duper Girl owns speed and could secure unchallenged lead with aggressive ride. Problem Solving debuts for Chad Brown after firing 5-furlong bullet to conclude work tab; could be big-time problem for top selection. Neon makes first start for Steve Asmussen; easily could shine in debut.

FIFTH: Going Strong fired two 5-furlong bullets since last start; primed for wake-up effort. Bluegrass Singer is fleet-footed and projects as the main speed in first start for new barn; very dangerous. Point Hope logged swift final fraction when winning most recent start; very playable.

SIXTH: Gio d’Oro has logged swift numbers in both starts; short price is the problem. Shamrock Kid returns to dirt after much-improved placing on turf last time; developing and dangerous. Carmine’s Honor was second to an 11-length winner in debut; don’t dismiss.

SEVENTH: The Great Samurai is speedy, rested and logged two sharp works for first start in 48 days. Daddy’s Home has been idle since August but hails from white-hot Linda Rice barn; mixed message. Bunyaan is riding a forward line on the numbers and owns fast back figures; worth long look.

EIGHTH: Very Very Stella packs potent late kick and compiled tight work tab for first start in eight weeks; call in ultra-contentious dash. Diodoro entry: Helooksthepart is riding a two-race winning streak and mate Pete’s Play Call consistently logs fast figures; potent pairing. Phi Beta Express could play out as the dominant front-runner; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Violent Delights displayed improved speed in last and should be set for best in third start of form cycle. Now a Factor adds blinkers and makes first dirt start for Mike Maker; very playable. Forward Motion also moves to main track after hard-charging third in debut on grass; dangerous. Bad Guy is favorably posted outside in bulky field; don’t ignore.

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