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Good Evening

Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Thursday, Dec. 31


Best Value: BEST PLAY (9)

FIRST: Contessa entry: Jeremy’s Song compiled three tight works for first start since May and mate Jazz Player is speedy and drops; just one goes with Aaron Gryder listed on both. Cadey’s Rambo would be aided by fast fractions; dangerous. Tommaso was a tough-trip fourth in last; price will be tempting.

SECOND: Brave Arrow was a clear-cut maiden winner in last at Prx; nice fit at N2L level. Over My Head owns competitive back numbers; dangerous. Miss Rickles regressed in last after solid score in prior; rebound potential.

THIRD: Risky Sour stretches to suitably longer distance; call based on price. Bustin the Bank was second to an easy winner in last; logical. Arctic King drops and is riding a forward line on the numbers; must consider.

FOURTH: Kowboy Boots should pack enhanced late kick with cutback to sprint. Mister Popsicle is speedy and can prove very tough on an uncontested lead. Forest Boy turns back to distance of both lifetime wins; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Lilikoi owns sprinter’s speed and could capitalize on unchallenged lead in weak field. Stone Supplier has hit the board in five of six starts; rock solid in exotics. Sweet Advance moves to dirt after late-running second on turf last out; dangerous.

SIXTH: Champagne Ruby regressed in last after pairing up fast figs in prior two starts; any better name on New Year’s Eve? Irish Whisper was a front-end winner at this level in last; big-time threat. Touching My Toes was a determined winner in last; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Comandante gets class relief and could play out as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride in big field. One Sided should possess enhanced staying power with cutback to 6 furlongs; very playable. Doctor Dempsey owns two wins and a second in three career starts; logical.

EIGHTH: Good Luck Gus was compromised by bad start in Empire Classic and is 1-for-1 on inner track; rebounds with surface switch. Empire Dreams won the Empire Classic start starts back and has the benefit of the rail today; very dangerous. Saratoga Snacks owns two wins and two seconds in four starts on winterized footing; more than good enough on ‘A’ game. Ostrolenka is speedy and makes peak start of form cycle; must be factored into the mix.

NINTH: Best Play gets confident price hike after logging swift final fraction when winning last; pairs up. Cosmic Coincidence owns speed, fast figs and fired bullet drill for first start since claimed by Jason Servis; big-time player. Petrocelli also is fleet-footed and owns fast numbers on best efforts; right in the thick of this. Inca Saint was dull in last but owns quick back numbers; mixed message. Street Shark (quick return) and Favor Factor (second to a repeat winner in last at Prx) are two thaht must be factored into the mix if able to escape AE list.

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