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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Thursday, Jan. 14


Best Value: H MAN (7)

FIRST: Big Band Benny could capitalize on soft lead in weak opener. Carysfort Reef has failed as the favorite in last three starts; continues trend? Boy Named Tish lost all chance after stumbling out of the gate last time; worth long look.

SECOND: Nordic Bird adds blinkers, drops and returns to dirt; improvement predicted. Take a Bow runs late and should be aided by rail and added ground; very playable. Violet Road could wake-up with class relief and surface switch; don’t dismiss.

THIRD: Willet tallied solid final fraction when a hard-charging winner last time; more to come. Sheriffa is speedy and will be aided by cutback to sprint. Court Dancer was just half-length behind top selection after doing the dirty work up front; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Wildniteattheopera was pace and position compromised when a better-than-it-looks fourth in last; call based on price. Mambo At the Gym owns speed and fast figs but has been on the bench since April; must take the good with the bad. Forest Boy owns sprinter’s speed and is posted on the fence; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Grandpa’s Princess gets confident price hike after determined score in first inner-track start; more to come. Sun and Moon is riding a forward line on pace and final figures; very dangerous. Defoe Street can impact on ‘A’ game.

SIXTH: Congarette projects as the controlling speed in weak field. Irish Heroine will be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Adrestia debuts for Mike Hushion; could be the goods.

SEVENTH: H Man is fleet-footed, rested and owns win on the winterized footing. Hey Bro packs potent late kick and will be the prime beneficiary if top selection wilts in the lane. Power Nap also runs late and would be aided by fast fractions. Dance Champion needed last and should make forward move in second start since eight-month absence.

EIGHTH: Myfourchix is riding a two-race winning streak and should pack amplified late kick at abbreviated dash. Laura Can Disco is speedy, fresh and fired 5-furlong bullet on Dec. 21; very dangerous. Making Havoc is a front-running threat on best efforts; worth long look. Clothes Fall Off owns two wins and fives seconds in eight starts; logical, short-priced player.

NINTH: File for Divorce logged crisp 5-furlong work for first start since June; career-best predicted. Memory Keeper is speedy, drops and is firing bullets for return; big-time player. Bear Clause was a game second in last; very dangerous. Spicy Spider adds blinkers and should be favorably positioned in big field.

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