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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 3


Best Value: PHOCEA (7)

FIRST: Courtmewithcarats exits fast-figured placing in last; call in terrible betting race. Special Risk makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; dangerous. Jax is speedy and rested; must be factored into the mix.

SECOND: Taoiseach packs potent late kick and could receive favorable setup. One Sided makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; very dangerous. Frisky Warrior wheels back in a hurry after failing to beat a horse on Saturday; improvement expected.

THIRD: Spectacular Flash ships up from Fair Grounds after compiling sharp work slate; primed and ready. Northern Screamer makes third start of form cycle and owns solid back numbers. Aix En Provence bested ‘Screamer’ by more than a length when second on Jan. 5; must be considered.

FOURTH: Miss Emily’s Smile should be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat with aggressive ride; call based on price potential. Hypnotica drops after useful fifth in debut; forward move predicted. Groton St Scout was a much-improved third in last; developing and dangerous.

FIFTH: Christening owns speed, drops to lifetime low and gets favorable cutback to sprint. Haveaniceweekend was second to a 7-length winner in last; very playable. Stormy Princess owns two wins from three starts; logical, short-priced player. Messer Misfit is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

SIXTH: Dublin My Money is firing bullet works for first start since August for barn (Mike Maker) that excels with layoff runners. Awesome Anthony adds blinkers and could play out as the controlling speed with aggressive handling; very dangerous. Flux Capacitor lost a head bob for all the money when a hard-charging second in last; big-time threat.

SEVENTH: Phocea is riding a forward line on the numbers and should pack amplified late kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Foxy Posse owns speed and bested a next-out winner when second in last; dangerous. Brooklyn Gal was a strong second in last at Parx and owns faster back numbers; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Cause I’m Alex was victimized by wide trip when a sharp third in last; more to give. Cards of Stone is fleet-footed and training strongly for first start since May; very playable. Brimstone also is speedy and has the benefit of the rail with short run into first turn; must be considered.

NINTH: Negev makes first start since moving to Rudy Rodriguez barn; breakthrough effort predicted. Robin’s Destiny gets class drop and favorable cutback to sprint after being eased in last; bounce-back effort expected. Rare Rose is fresh and adds blinkers; dangerous. Ava Rae also is rested, dons the shades and hails from solid layoff barn (Dave Donk); very interesting.

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