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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, Sept. 23

Best Bet: PRIME TIME MAN (7)


FIRST: Tale for Ruby was a fast-figured winner on July 27 and fired eye-catching, 5-furlong bullet on Saturday for return. Literata consistently logs swift numbers; dangerous. Kate Is a Ten packs potent late kick on best efforts.

SECOND: The Eagle Is Gone wheels back in a hurry for new barn after strong placing in debut last week; more to come. Woundwithhereyes never delivered on heavy tote support in debut but is training sharply for return. Murrell’s Belle owns speed and adds blinkers; must consider.

THIRD: Sandy’z Slew logged four tight works since displaying improved speed in last start; rates close call. Lord Commander is training with a purpose for turf debut for Todd Pletcher; very playable. Dowse’s Beach owns fast figs and makes third start of form cycle; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: One Penny Piece tallied improved late-pace number in last and should be sitting on breakthrough in third start of form cycle. Awesome Quick is quick from the gate and loves Belmont Park grass; very dangerous. Sunrise Kitty is rested, drops and never has been off the board in six starts on Belmont turf; big-time player.

FIFTH: Miss Lovely pressed the pace in sprint debut and could play out as the controlling speed with stretchout in distance. Warrior Hall was a very strong second in first grass outing; could easily take this. Wake Island was a wide third as the favorite in debut; be no surprise.

SIXTH: Mo Maverick was a front-running second in debut and should have more in the tank. Can You Diggit was a tough-trip third behind Mo Maverick in debut; could certainly close the gap. Mr. Buff gets Lasix and has trained swiftly since first out; wake-up potential.

SEVENTH: Prime Time Man was pace and trip compromised in last and fired crisp half-mile work last week; primed for best. Bibbo gets class relief after regressing in last; bounce-back threat. Baby Bear’s Soup owns sprinter’s speed and may secure unchallenged lead; worth long look.

EIGHTH: Flattermefabulous had the wrong front-end setup last time but could secure soft lead in big field today. Table for Six owns strong late kick but has finished second in three of last four starts; continues trend? Somerset Sandy tallied only lifetime victory on Belmont grass; price will be tempting.

NINTH: Moonshine Kate never got involved in off-the-turf race last time but logged solid late-pace numbers in both grass starts; rates call in wide-open nightcap. Octacato notched quick final fraction when a solid third in last; very dangerous. Votre Coeur lost a head bob to a repeat winner in last; serious threat. O K by Me is fleet-footed and must be factored into the mix if able to escape AE list.


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