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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews Aqueduct selections March 17

Best Bet: RICH ‘N’ TUCK (8);

Best Value: PEGASUS RED (5)

FIRST: Esky set hot pace and faltered in first start since two-month layoff last time; tighter today. Lucky Boots drops and makes peak start of form cycle; dangerous. Over My Head also drops and has the benefit of the rail; don’t ignore.

SECOND: Grandpa’s Princess owns solid late kick and could receive ideal pace setup. Image is fresh and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. More Than Rainbows drops and gets favorable cutback to sprint; worth long look.

THIRD: Angela Renee is training sharply for first start since August. Jules N Rome, an inner-track lover, was freshened after front-running score on Jan. 7; dangerous. Mrs. Hudson was a very game second in last; must consider.

FOURTH: Danger Lurks makes peak start of form cycle after clear-cut second in last; more to give. Guardian drops and gets favorable cutback to sprint. John Eddie was an even fifth in debut; improvement expected.

FIFTH: Pegasus Red gets confident price hike after determined win in last; pairs up. Comandante drops and owns speed and fast figures; very dangerous. Caspian Crown is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Magnifier compiled eye-catching work tab in South Florida for local debut; call in race that’s loaded with newcomers. Heliodoro is rested and may show speed off the bench; price will be tempting. Pure Excitement fired crisp half-mile drill on March 11; could be the goods.

SEVENTH: Ice Couture took backward step in last after fast-figured third in prior; rebounds. Manhattan Special makes first start since claimed after convincing victory in last; big-time threat. Hot Dudette owns speed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

EIGHTH: Rich ‘n’ Tuck gets aggressive class boost after handy score last out; more in the tank. Sherifco also was an easy winner in last and owns fast back numbers; dangerous. Global Positioning needed last and is more than good enough on ‘A’ game; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: El Genio returns to NY-bred ranks and could be primed for career-best in third start since layoff. Starago was a solid, front-end second in last; very playable. File for Divorce was three lengths behind Starago last time and but could easily close the gap in third start since seven-month absence. Interior Secretary regressed in last after strong placing in prior; must consider.

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