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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, March 18

Best Bet: CHELIOS (2)

Best Value: COPERNICUS (5)

FIRST: Miss Swisher drops to lifetime low after even fourth last week; forward move predicted. Forever Plus was a front-running second in last; dangerous. Game Girl was compromised by soft fractions in last; worth long look.

SECOND: Drive was second to a runaway winner last time and consistently logs field’s fastest final fractions. Don’t Point was a determined maiden winner in last; dangerous. Try Flying needed last and now makes first start since moving to Gary Gullo barn; very interesting.

THIRD: Chelios was a front-end winner in last and owns faster back numbers. Sky Commander fired 3-furlong bullet since last race; big-time player. Chicago Son is speedy but shows light work tab for first start in seven weeks; mixed message.

FOURTH: Flower Kisser makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and compiled tight work tab for first outing since September. Grace’s Joy has finished second in last two starts; continues trend? Wiredancer is riding a forward line on pace and final figures; dangerous.

FIFTH: Copernicus drops after speed and fade behind repeat winner last time; call based on price potential. Oliver Rush could be sitting in the garden spot if front-end meltdown ensues. Americas Guest could easily take this on ‘A’ game. Mister Popsicle can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

SIXTH: Candy Counter gets the meds and is training consistently for first start in seven weeks; big-time forward move predicted. Time Squared was victimized by wide trip and slow fractions when third in last; very dangerous. Ranger’s Express is 0-for-14 but owns solid numbers on best efforts; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Skill Not Luck tallied improved final fraction when a close-up fifth in last; more to give. Reverend Green exits sprints, starts from the fence and could play out as the speed of the speed. Midnight Trace also is fleet-footed and exits game placing in last; must consider.

EIGHTH: Milaya notched improved internal numbers in last and owns fast back figures; primed for breakthrough. Jademarie bested top selection by nearly five lengths when second at 42-1 last time; worth long look. Pushme Pullyou dead heated for the win last time and should offer playable price; don’t ignore.

NINTH: Prince Zurs is fresh and displays a history of delivering strong efforts off the bench; history repeats. Chairman Now was a front-running winner for this price in last; very playable. Piscesbymoonlight was a strong second behind Chairman Now when favored on Feb. 26; could easily reverse decision. Lifes Reward looms the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious.

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