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Good Evening

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 16

Best bet: PUFFERY (4)

Best value: LIGHT THE VOW (6)

FIRST: Stan the Man was a fast-figured second in last; uninspiring price in small field. Switzerland has failed at short odds in all seven starts; ho hum. Via Castagna was fourth behind top pair on Nov. 30; worth a look.

SECOND: Gia Michael owns a running style that should be aided by today’s additional quarter mile. My Rose of Savanna adds blinkers and drops; front-running threat. Timeless Beauty has finished second in last three starts; prefers minor awards?

THIRD: Scorpion Bowl was a clear-cut second to a much-the-best winner in last; 5-furlong work Feb. 7 seals the deal. Lady Moyne was an ultra-game second in last; logical, short-priced threat. Sister Sparrow debuts for Jeremiah Englehart and barn reaches for go-to rider Paco Lopez; could be the goods.

FOURTH: Puffery tallied rapid late-pace figure when breaking maiden by nearly six lengths last out; pairs up. Cryinthemoonlight owns speed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Vip Nation wheels back in a hurry after decisive maiden win last week; very interesting.

FIFTH: Maddizaskar gets confident price hike after sitting out “jail” time since claimed last month; primed for breakthrough. Flick of an Eye gets class relief and owns fast numbers on best efforts; very dangerous. Madame Barbarian was a hard-charging winner at 26-1 last time; worth long look at long price.

SIXTH: Light the Vow gets aggressive, two-level class boost after “geared down” score Jan. 13; more to come. Hembree, also a last-race winner, consistently delivers strong efforts; big-time player. Halloween Horror packs a potent kick on best efforts; price will be tempting.

SEVENTH: Palladian Bridge holds razor-sharp current condition and is a three-time winner at hybrid 6 1⁄2-furlong distance. Silly Sister is rested and hails from Linda Rice stable; playable if the price is right. Zealous Scholar’s speed gives her a puncher’s chance at a price; don’t ignore.

EIGHTH: Facade runs late and could get ideal setup in wide-open nightcap. Mineralogy is speedy and adds blinkers; wire-to-wire threat. Adirondack Dream was a strong second in last; must be factored into the mix. Celtic Scout is riding a forward line on the numbers; consider.

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