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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Saturday, Dec. 30

Best bet: CERRETALTO (7)

Best value: NUT NUT (4)

FIRST: Go displayed improved speed in last and meets weak maiden field in opener. Hail has worked four times since useful third in debut; more to come. Super Duper Girl owns sprinter’s speed and could prove tough on a soft lead.

SECOND: Caniform gets class relief and owns fast back figures; call based on price. Lost Iron logged 9-length score in first start after more than yearlong absence; dangerous. Competitiveness exits front-end wins in last two starts; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Abiding Star projects as the swiftest of the swift with aggressive ride from the rail. Backsideofthemoon could be ideal ly positioned in the stalker’s seat; very playable. Vulcan’s Forge packs potent late kick on best efforts.

FOURTH: Nut Nut drops after being compromised by wide trip in last; rates close call. I Miss My Father was a determined maiden winner in last and hails from white-hot Linda Rice barn; very dangerous. Noble and True needed last and owns fast numbers on “A” game; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Sir Alfred compiled sharp work tab for first start in more than a year; primed and ready. Holland Road is riding a two-race winning streak; razor-sharp and very playable. Holding Aces was eliminated by poor start last time; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: My Lightnin Strike returns to dirt after displaying newfound speed in last; more to give. My Victoria Rose tallied solid late-pace figure when third in debut; big-time player. Orchid Party makes first start since claimed for $50,000 by Rudy Rodriguez; must be considered.

SEVENTH: Cerretalto visually and numerically impressed when a clear-cut winner the first time he touched Big A loam; keeps on giving. Jewel Can Disco is speedy, rested and owns fast final figures; very dangerous. Mighty Zealous was a fast-figured winner in last and consistently fires big efforts; worth long look.

EIGHTH: Audible drew off to a dominant victory at the mile distance last time; more to come. Empire Line bested a next-out winner by two lengths when an impressive-looking victor in debut; very playable. Battle Station owns speed and is favorably posted outside in bulky, contentious NY-bred stakes field.

NINTH: Can’tweallgetalong is fresh, training with a purpose and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; call in wide-open nightcap. Pequeno Grande makes first dirt start for Rudy Rodriguez; very interesting. Freudian Analyst is steadily improving on the numbers; price will be tempting. Purring on Empty gets blinkers/Lasix makeover and is firing bullets for first start since October; don’t ignore.

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