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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 5

Best Bet: HECTORS PRIDE (7)

Best Value: BASS RIVER ROAD (8)

FIRST: Button Pusher logged four tight works for first start in 51 days; call based on price potential. Votre Coeur was an even third in debut; dangerous with second-out development. Riot Worthy returns to the maiden ranks and is more than good enough on best efforts.

SECOND: Franky and Jane gets price hike after front-end score last out; more to give. Lotsa Noodles drops and cuts back to sprint; big-time stretch threat. Starship Pleasant wheels back in a hurry after speed and fade this past Sunday; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Lady Luciano makes peak start of form cycle and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride. Wonder Gal drops and owns fast figures; very dangerous. Legally Bay would be aided by hot fractions.

FOURTH: Jazz Band Joe needed last and packs potent late kick on ‘A’ game. Miss Rickles bested top selection by more than 10 lengths when a clear-cut second in last; logical, short-priced player. Over My Head was third in same New Year’s Eve race as top pair; must consider.

FIFTH: Greyjoy runs late and should receive ideal setup in weak maiden field. Evolution drops and will be favorably positioned near the front; dangerous. Porch Pounder compiled tight work tab for first start in more than a year; follow the money.

SIXTH: Elcinico took backward step in last after fast-figured win in prior; rebounds today. Sherifco can prove very tough if able to shake clear from other front-runners. Apache Warrior also is speedy and fired 3-furlong bullet last week; right in the thick of this. Casa Gato was an even fifth versus a pricier field last time; would be aided by pace meltdown.

SEVENTH: Hectors Pride was pace and trip compromised when a game second in last; confident price hike seals the deal. Reverend Green is rested and can win from on or off the pace; very dangerous. Instructor Kunu is fleet-footed and makes first start with a selling tag; worth long look.

EIGHTH: Bass River Road gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs; amplified late wallop predicted. Geaux Mets was a fast-figured winner at this level on New Year’s Eve; big-time threat. Doctor Dempsey owns two wins and a third in three starts; logical, short-priced player.

NINTH: Tree Shaker is riding a forward line on the numbers and gets class relief in weak nightcap. Sky High Skyler also drops, makes peak start of form cycle and was gelded since last outing; serious player. Congrats Kid is fresh and owns fast figs on best efforts. Clearlyagoodstart could impact at fat ticket if fractions get fast and furious.

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