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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Dec. 29

Best bet: GRANDPA’S ARIANNA (1)

Best value: PROLETARIAT (7)

FIRST: Grandpa’s Arianna drew off to a 10-length score on grass last out; transfers razor-sharp form to dirt. Short Kakes has finished second at short odds in last two starts; continues trend? Hoponthebusgus owns fast turf numbers; likely underlay.

SECOND: Madeline’s Hope returns to NY-bred ranks and gets favorable cutback to sprint; weakness of field is selection’s strength. Gypsy Jo owns speed and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; very playable. Tough Old Bird is 0-for-13 but owns fast figures on best efforts; must consider.

THIRD: Wall of Compassion logged five tightly grouped works since clear-cut second Nov. 10; primed for best. Incleveland was a front-end winner in Philadelphia last time; dangerous. Wealth Effect makes first dirt start for Chad Brown; demand value.

FOURTH: Alpha Team, a strong second in last, is riding a forward line on the number; call in weak maiden field. Champagne Papi was more than seven lengths to the rear of top selection last time but is improving and can easily close the gap. Cookie Crisp drops to lifetime low after failing as the favorite last time; short ticket once again.

FIFTH: Lady Rullah adds blinkers after being compromised by bad start last time; rider upgrade seals the deal. Woundwithhereyes was victimized by wide trip when just a length behind top selection Dec. 2; must consider. Carry Your Heels runs late and 7-furlong trip could suit perfectly; worth long look.

SIXTH: Mutaraamy is fleet-footed and projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride in compact field. Bunyaan owns fast back figures and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Tale of Mist makes first start since moving to white-hot Linda Rice barn; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Proletariat logged purposeful work slate for first start since March; set for big effort. Calculated Risker consistently delivers strong efforts; very dangerous. H Man is speedy, rested and owns fast figures; big-time, front-end threat.

EIGHTH: Latin Love Bug made belated rally when a useful fifth in debut; more to give. Port Arch hails from the suddenly sizzling Mark Hennig stable; very interesting. Pence wheels back in a hurry after finishing second to a 5-length winner Dec. 23; very playable. Big Auk was second at 74-1 last out; big-priced exotics inclusion.

New York Sports