60° Good Afternoon
60° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Friday, Sept. 30

Best Bet: SINISTRA (3)

Best Value: SCHOUT BAY (9)

FIRST: Whitegate is training with a purpose for first start with maiden-claiming tag; call in weak opener. Tree Top Lover owns fast numbers and fired 3-furlong bullet since last start; very dangerous. Play Big bested Tree Top Lover by nearly a length when second to a repeat winner on Sept. 9; could easily take this.

SECOND: Nile Princess was victimized by poor start in off-the-turf race last time and logged only win on Belmont sod. Cheering for Al runs late and could be aided by today’s added ground. Madison Blues owns speed and swift numbers; right in the thick of this.

THIRD: Sinistra was speed sharpened in sprint last time and could get early jump in field that’s light on front-runners. Governor Malibu has tallied solid numbers against the best of the 3-year-old division; very dangerous. Clifton Pleasure could impact if pace meltdown ensues.

FOURTH: True Pleasure was a tough-trip second in last; close in wide-open, turf sprint. My Fair Lady also endured rough journey in same race as top selection; big-time player. Ranger Lady displayed speed in stateside debut; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Young Anna Lee regressed in last after being fast-figured at this distance and surface in previous start; bounces back. Big Mara bested top selection by five lengths when an ultra-game second on Aug. 19; very dangerous. Cahirciveen cruised to 10-length maiden victory in last; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Missy’s Storm displayed improved speed in last and projects as the dominant front-runner with return to grass. Mo Promise drops back in with maidens and owns fast turf numbers; big-time threat. Reconsider It runs late and could benefit from longer distance.

SEVENTH: True History ships in for top-shelf, Philly-based barn (Ramon Preciado) and owns field’s fastest late-pace numbers on best efforts. Piccolo Flats is speedy, rested and hails from Danny Gargan stable; very playable. Carameaway will offer fat ticket and owns competitive numbers on “A” game; worth long look.

EIGHTH: Wicked Freud needed last and should make forward move at juicy price in big field. Final Chapter, 2-for-2 on Belmont sod, should pack intensified late wallop with cutback to 7 furlongs. Asset Inflation also loves Belmont grass and will be favorably positioned near the front; very playable.

NINTH: Schout Bay was compromised by wide trip in last and should offer playable price in wide-open nightcap. Playthatfunnymusic adds blinkers and could play out as the controlling speed; very playable. Great Skellig logged improved final fraction when a tough-trip fourth in last; dangerous. Colonel Jessup should be aided by cutback to sprint.; juicy-priced exotics inclusion.


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