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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, June 23

Best Bet: NOMINAL DOLLARS (7); Best Value: LORD OF LOVE (8)

FIRST: Spring Folly tallied solid final fraction in turf-and-career debut and has trained sharply in the interim. Out of Nowhere owns speed and makes third start of form cycle; very interesting. Dynamicgiantgirl is firing bullets for first start; stay tuned to the tote.

SECOND: Bunyaan compiled five tightly grouped works for first start since 50-day freshener; primed and ready. Phat Man was a fast-figured second last out; dangerous. Cournoyer needed last and was a swift-numbered winner two starts back; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Proper Freud owns fast back figures and should offer best price potential in wide-open dash. Drover Crazy is fleet-footed and makes first start since claimed by Rudy Rodriguez; very dangerous. Bolita Boyz makes first start for Robertino Diodoro; more than good enough on best. Luna de Loco would be aided by pace meltdown; don’t dismiss.

FOURTH: Desperado cuts back to shorter route and should pack amplified wallop at fat ticket. Bushmill’s Legend also turns back in distance and looms a big-time stretch threat. Lucullan owns speed and fired half-mile bullet for grass debut; worth long look.

FIFTH: Mr. Pete was a clear-cut second in debut; half-mile bullet on June 12 seals the deal. Panama Ed gets the meds after finishing four lengths behind ‘Pete’ on June 2; easily could close the gap. Collective Effort compiled a bullet-riddled work slate for debut; could be the goods.

SIXTH: Palladian Bridge bounced in last after fast-figure win in previous start; rebounds. Zealous Scholar is speedy and gets favorable turnback to sprint; very playable. Mizzen Max is training strongly for first start since January; worth long look.

SEVENTH: Nominal Dollars is riding a forward line on late-pace and final figures and owns faster back numbers; set for breakthrough. Pirellone drops, returns to dirt and could play out as the controlling speed. Tiz Shea D also gets class relief and switches back to main track; more than good enough on best. Hard Hitter regressed in last start after dominant victory two races back; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Lord of Love compiled three tight works for first start since December and packs powerful late punch on “A” game; set for best. Bibbo is speedy and fired 5-furlong bullet drill since last start; very dangerous. Grey Fox was a strong second in lone start on Belmont turf last fall; don’t ignore.

NINTH: Final Encore owns fast back numbers and logged solid work tab for first start in 55 days; call in wide-open nightcap. Bellows moves to turf and makes peak start of form cycle for Graham Motion; very playable. Real Creel is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Dr. Koy was a clear-cut maiden winner in last start; must respect.


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