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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Friday, March 24

Best Bet: SPOTTY ZEALOUS (5)

Best Value: GANADOR (9)

FIRST: Thirsty Actor is fresh, owns speed and logged four tight works since last start; call based on price. Valhalla was second at 25 cents on the dollar last time; for chalk lovers only. Totaled the Benz is by a high-percentage, first-out sire; follow the money.

SECOND: Investigator tallied rapid late-pace figure when 11 lengths clear for second last time; more to come. Motown Sound regressed in last start after fast-figured win in previous race; bounce-back threat. The Schwam also took backward step in most recent after strong effort two races back; don’t dismiss.

THIRD: Peak Performance ships north after compiling eye-catching workout tab at Gulfstream for debut; appears to be the goods. Horoscope is speedy but has finished second in last three starts; continues trend? Sicilia Mike is another that prefers minor awards and has repeatedly failed at short odds; proceed with caution.

FOURTH: Pray for Bourbon is rested, adds blinkers and could be sitting on breakthrough in field that’s jammed with newcomers. Forget It is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Fleet Week debuts for Steve Asmussen; stay tuned to the tote.

FIFTH: Spotty Zealous projects as the main speed on the fence in compact field; handicapping 101. Bobby on Fleek is training with a purpose for first start since August for Chad Brown; short price is the problem. Hamptons Holiday should pack amplified late wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs; very interesting at fat odds.

SIXTH: Ten Twenty Nine was compromised by making wide move on the turn when a better-than-it-looks third last time; more to come. He Can Dance bested top selection by five lengths when a front-end second in last; very dangerous. Port More owns fast late-pace figures on best efforts and has drilled three times since last start; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Non Finisce Mai drops, starts from the fence and should get early jump in field that’s light on speed. Krista’s Persona gets favorable cutback to sprint after useful fifth in first start since three-month layoff last time; worth long look. Moondance Joy makes first start since claimed and owns fast back figures; must consider.

EIGHTH: Winning Road was a clear-cut second to a runaway winner last out; controlling speed with aggressive ride. Cards of Stone tallied swift final fraction when a determined victor in last; very dangerous. Tathqeef has worked swiftly since fast-figured second in stateside debut at Gulfstream last month; logical, short-priced player.

NINTH: Ganador exits tenacious score last time at Laurel and logged career-best numbers on Big A’s inner track; pairs up wins. John’s Island drops to lifetime low and owns fast figures on best efforts; be no surprise. Dettifoss was a clear-cut winner in last; razor-sharp and dangerous. Fullfaithandcredit was an even fourth at this level last time; must be factored into the mix.

New York Sports