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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 26

Best Bet: FLEET FIRST (7)

Best Value: COZZE CAT (1)

FIRST: Cozze Cat gets class relief and fired half-mile bullet on Sunday; call based on price. Voluntario also notched bullet drill since last start; likely favorite. Take a Bite was a clear-cut winner in last and hails from suddenly-live Michelle Nevin barn; must consider.

SECOND: Sixbits should pack amplified late kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Midnight Surfer makes peak start of form cycle after much-improved third in last; very dangerous. Hot Squad drops and owns speed and fast figs; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Freudsalm projects as the speed of the speed in compact field. Surprise Cameo could be the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Flatterywillgetyou should be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat; dangerous.

FOURTH: Wisdom of Oz compiled strong work tab for first start in 203 days; potent late kick on ‘A’ game. Time for Angie is riding a four-race winning streak; logical, short-priced threat. Distinct Diva is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an uncontested lead.

FIFTH: Greeley’s Farewell drops after speed-and-fade tightener in last; call based on price potential. Chicago Son faltered when favored in last but should improve in second start since eight-week layoff. Metarus could impact if fractions get fast and furious.

SIXTH: Valerie’s Spirit tallied fast final fraction when pace compromised in last; call in wide-open race. Chocolate Smoothie closes in sprints and could be aided by today’s added ground; demand value. Time Squared is fresh and could make forward move at fat price.

SEVENTH: Fleet First made sustained rally when a determined winner in last; pairs up. Piscesbymoonlight is speedy and is capable of big efforts when able to secure an unchallenged lead. Chairman Now took backward step in last after winning two in a row; bounce-back threat.

EIGHTH: Lady Luciano owns sprinter’s speed and projects as the controlling front-runner with aggressive ride. Literata would be aided by pace meltdown and fired 5-furlong bullet for first start in 50 days; very playable. Legally Bay is another that would benefit from swift splits.

NINTH: Tizcara owns speed and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; throw deep in wide-open finale. Pranzare also is fleet-footed and makes first start with claiming tag; price will be tempting. Native Crossing was an ultra-game second in last; right in the thick of this. Game Girl drops to lifetime low after much-improved third in last; very dangerous.

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