49° Good Afternoon
49° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, Oct. 28

Best bet: MONSTER MASH (7)

Best value: AGAWA (5)

FIRST: Cause of the Royal adds blinkers and moves to the grass; wake-up call in field that’s jammed with newcomers. Always a Suspect, an uncoupled barn mate (Kiaran McLaughlin) of top selection, should improve with race under belt. Asphalt Paving is from a dam that has thrown two turf winners; follow the money.

SECOND: Cheering for Al drops and returns to dirt for Rudy Rodriguez; call in weak field. Jemmabelle also gets class relief after losing as the favorite in last; short price once again. Glare Ice is competitive on best efforts.

THIRD: Candy Genovesa should be sitting on forward move after speed tightener in last; call based on price. Trophy Girl moves to grass for Chad Brown; need more? Tapit Together was a game second in last and owns fast final fractions; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Morse Code signaled his ability when notching swift final fraction in debut last fall; sharp work tab for return seals the deal. Imasuperstar is speedy and will prove very tough on a soft lead. Time Will Tell gets favorable cutback in distance and fired half-mile bullet Oct. 11; worth long look at long price.

FIFTH: Agawa was pace and position compromised when facing pricier field last time; forward move predicted. Saturday Bliss also was victimized by slow splits and wide trip last out; very playable. Sunset Knoll is fleet-footed and owns swift numbers; very dangerous.

SIXTH: Day After Day is training with a purpose for return and projects as the controlling speed with aggressive ride. Jersey’s Kittens runs late and could be the prime beneficiary if front-end meltdown ensues. Esther the Queen can impact from on or off the pace; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Monster Mash has won three of last four starts; razor-sharp current condition is key in contentious field. Royal Saint regressed in last after pairing up strong efforts in prior two starts; bounce-back potential. Rockford was sidelined after defeating a pricier field at the distance on Aug. 25 at the Spa; fire sale?

EIGHTH: Jet Majesty was a front-running winner in last and fired eye-catching, 5-furlong bullet in the interim; pairs up. Grey Stark packs potent late kick, starts from hedge and hails from Chad Brown barn; very dangerous. Sympathy, an uncoupled barn mate of Grey Stark, is training consistently for first start in more than two months; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: The Eagle Is Gone wheels back in a hurry after tough-trip seventh 13 days ago; must escape AE list. Air Force Nurse moves to dirt after speed and fade in turf debut; three tight works in the interim adds to appeal. Beautiful Nite Sky exits clear-cut placing in last at Laurel; very playable. Wish Upon picked up the tempo in morning drills as race day neared; follow the money.


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