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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, July 15

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Best Bet: THREE EIGHTY EIGHT (9)

Best Value: RIFF RAFF (4)

FIRST: Rapscallion tallied solid final fraction when a late-running fourth in last; set for best in third start of form cycle. Special Selection is fresh and logged three of five lifetime wins on Belmont turf. Blue Pigeon displayed new-found speed in last and should be aided by cutback to 7 furlongs.

SECOND: Forest Boy fired swift, half-mile work since even fifth versus pricier field last out; forward move predicted. Rapid Rouge was a clear-cut winner at this level in last start; dangerous. Because I’m Happy owns competitive numbers on best efforts; price will be tempting.

THIRD: One Sided was a convincing winner in last and owns faster back figures; more to give. Juan and Bina logged three tight works since last start; very interesting. Bombs Away has trained strongly since front-running maiden victory in last; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Riff Raff moves to grass after dominant maiden score last out; transfers razor-sharp form. Ode to the Hunt was compromised by wide trip when a strong third in last; very dangerous. Cloontia, a wire-to-wire maiden winner in last, could play out as the main speed once again.

FIFTH: Wizardly regressed in last on turf after fast-figured placing on dirt; bounce-back effort today. You Know I Know also switches back to main track after subpar effort on grass just 12 days ago; must consider. Outlash logged swift internal and final figures when a much-the-best winner in last; very playable.

SIXTH: Map Room notched solid late-pace and final figures on Keeneland turf this past spring; rates close call in bulky field. Jess I Am lost a head bob at the wire after leading at every call last time; very dangerous. Butler Field is training strongly for debut for Chad Brown; could be the goods.

SEVENTH: Lady Luciano tallied career-best late-pace number when a clear-cut winner in last; more to come. Familyofroses was a fast-figured second at 31-1 last out; price will be generous once again. Sheriffa is big-time front-end threat on “A” effort.

EIGHTH: Chasintheblues owns sprinter’s speed and projects as the controlling front-runner with aggressive ride. Storm Prophet packs potent late kick and fired half-mile bullet since last start; big-time player. Hirschbein is right in the thick of this if pace meltdown ensues.

NINTH: Three Eighty Eight was pace compromised when facing tougher maiden field last out; eye-catching, half-mile bullet last week seals the deal. Weekend Hottie was a willing third in last and owns faster back figures. I Love You Still is speedy, adds blinkers and makes peak start of form cycle; worth long look. Freckle de Freck also dons the shades and pulls 8 to 13 pounds from the field with bug rider aboard; price will be tempting.

New York Sports