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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, Sept. 16


Best Bet: CITY SECTION (9)

Best Value: MAJESTIC TOM (6)

FIRST: Spun Copper fired 3-furlong bullet last week for first start in 50 days; call in weak opener. Redneck Gold was a much-improved third in last; dangerous. Stella Who owns speed and fast figs but shows sparse work slate for first start since June; mixed message.

SECOND: Gridley Here drops and makes peak start of form cycle but has been mired in long drought; must take the good with the bad. Hidden Vow was pace and trip compromised when second in last; dangerous. Mobridge logged all three wins on Belmont turf; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Realm notched improved internal numbers when making first start since two-month absence last time; more to give today. Red Drum tallied fast final fraction in last and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Juan and Bina owns speed and could play out as the controlling front-runner on the fence.

FOURTH: Ross Boss has trained swiftly since speed and fade in debut this past winter; addition of Lasix seals the deal. Read the Dream was a tough-trip fifth in first start; worth long look at long price. Buckwellspent has finished second in three of six starts; prefers minor spoils?

FIFTH: Rockford was a hard-charging winner in last start and has a history of pairing up victories. Saratoga Wildcat also won last and now makes first start since claimed by Danny Gargan; very dangerous. Mewannarose owns speed, fast figures and drops; big-time player. Royal Saint holds razor-sharp condition and owns a win and a second in two starts at Belmont; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Majestic Tom should pack amplified late wallop with cutback to sprint. Toshiro gets the meds after game placing in debut; very dangerous. Forge moves to grass for Chad Brown; underlay potential.

SEVENTH: Ametrine drops and goes long to short and should possess intensified punch in the stretch; rates close call. Ortiga needed last and owns swift numbers on “A” game. It’s Two Hot Benny is speedy and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

EIGHTH: Big Guy Ian projects as the speed of the speed with aggressive handling. Green Mask has finished second in last two starts; continues trend? Life in Shambles is riding a three-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: City Section makes peak start of form cycle and owns swift late-pace figures on best efforts; set for breakthrough. Mo’s Ginny also logs rapid final fractions on “A” races; price will be tempting. Wicked Fun drops to lifetime low and notched best effort on Belmont sod last autumn; worth long look. Queenofthechannel was a tough-trip seventh when favored in last; must consider.


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