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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Saturday, Jan. 6

Best Bet: ABSATOOTLY (8); Best Value: OPEN BAR (2)

FIRST: Just Bustin owns speed and makes first dirt start and first outing with maiden-claiming tag; call in tricky opener. Merger of Banks also is fleet-footed and was a solid second in last; very playable. Iron Johnny has worked twice since poor effort in last start; rebound potential.

SECOND: Open Bar is riding a forward line on internal and final numbers; more to come. Sir Bond runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Spin Cycle is speedy and owns fast numbers on best efforts.

THIRD: Go Big Or Go Home drops two price levels, switches to dirt and is favorably posted outside; rates close nod. Shoot the Gap was a much-improved third in last and owns faster back figures; very dangerous. Fooch has logged swift numbers in both starts; logical, short-priced player.

FOURTH: Bear Clause tallied rapid late-pace figure when a game second in last; call based on price. Proletariat owns fast numbers but has been sidelined since March; must take the good with the bad. Appealing Henry is riding a two-race winning streak; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Wilshire Star was done in by hot pace last time but should enjoy softer flow in probable, front-end dynamics. Fielding Gold bested top selection by four lengths when second last out; right in the thick of this. Thirsty Donnerstag would be aided by pace meltdown; price will be tempting.

SIXTH: Lune Lake runs late and should pack enhanced kick with slight cutback to 6 furlongs. Split Time was a clear-cut second in debut; big-time threat. Velvet Trinni is fleet-footed but has lost ground in the stretch in all eight starts; mixed message.

SEVENTH: 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.

EIGHTH: Absatootly fired swift, half-mile work since last start; forward move predicted in second start since two-month absence. Quezon got her game back when a determined winner in last; dangerous. Holiday Disguise is 3-for-4 but has been on the bench since Memorial Day; demand value.

NINTH: Bahnahno needs help with the fractions but could receive ideal setup in weak nightcap. Holy Gold is speedy and could prove very tough if able to clear other front-runners. Passporttovictory also is quick from gate and drops two price levels; must consider. Groton St Scout could be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat.

New York Sports