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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, Sept. 29

Best Bet: LIL RENEGADE (3); Best Value: PEAK PERFORMANCE (6)

FIRST: Fortuitous Path was a change-of-pace third in last at Suffolk and should be nearing peak in fourth start since layoff. Noneedtoflatterme earned improved internal figures in last and owns fast back figures; very playable. Abdaar owns speed and solid numbers; must consider.

SECOND: Summer Mischief gets favorable cutback to 7 furlongs after gaining brief lead at quarter pole in route last time; improved staying power today. Gosilently was a fast-figured second in last; very dangerous. Grand Valour moves to the grass for Linda Rice; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Lil Renegade logged “soft” number when a perfect-trip winner in last; more to give. Making Havoc was dueled into defeat when third to top selection on Sept. 10; dangerous with less strenuous trip. Jemmabelle was a late-running second in same last race as top pair; don’t ignore.

FOURTH: Naples Parade has trained sharply for first start since logging fast late-pace figure when second in debut this past February; rail draw seals the deal. Silver Shaker was compromised by soft splits when third to a much-the-best winner in last; dangerous. Fast Mama compiled seven tight works for first start since two-month freshener for Chad Brown; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Royal Inheritance was eliminated at the start in Grade 2 Prioress last time; 2-for-3 at Belmont Park. Run and Go has yet to taste defeat in two starts; obvious player. Arella Rockstar is another that is undefeated in two outings; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Peak Performance moves to Belmont grass after clear-cut score on Monmouth dirt last time; handles surface switch. Outrageous Bet unleashed sustained rally when winning on Belmont sod on Sept. 9; very playable. D’yer Mak’er adds blinkers and returns to turf; worth long look at long price.

SEVENTH: Lead by Example notched solid late-pace figure when a rallying sixth in last on Spa sod; logged only win on Belmont turf. Hy Brasil owns sprinter’s speed and should be favorably positioned near the front in grass debut. Carbon Data is training with a purpose for first start in eight weeks for Chad Brown; likely underlay.

EIGHTH: Marshall Eddy notched three tight works since capitalizing on soft splits when winning last; more to give. Roman Approval is fleet-footed and is a four-time winner on Belmont grass; very dangerous. Tathqeef notched swift final fraction in last on Spa grass and is 1-for-1 on Big B lawn; must consider.

NINTH: Way Smart was a willing second in debut this past June and has compiled five tight works for return; needs a scratch to get in. La Moneda made menacing move to the front and flattened late in debut on Aug. 7; duly tightened today. Piquet failed to handle Saratoga slop last time but logged strong efforts on Belmont grass this past spring; dangerous. Dream Passage is speedy, gets the meds and makes peak start of form cycle; must be factored into the mix.

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