Scattered Clouds 45° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 45° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Monday, July 3

Best Bet CASINO KING (1); Bet Value: LA SOLA RANGER (7)

FIRST: Casino King tallied swift final fraction when a clear-cut second in last; more to give. Big Ragu makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and fired 5-furlong bullet last week; very dangerous. Giant Brownie is training with a purpose for first start for Rudy Rodriguez; worth long look.

SECOND: Chow Fun was compromised by wide trip in sprint prep last time; forward move predicted in second start since 14-month layoff. Frosty Lady is speedy and makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; big-time player. Serious Happiness ships in from Parx after facing pricier field last week’ don’t ignore.

THIRD: D’ambrosio compiled tight work tab since non-threatening fifth in debut; improvement expected for potent second-out stable (Kiaran McLaughlin). Perfect Partner owns fast late-pace figures but has finished third in all three starts; must take the good with the bad. Spieth is training sharply for first start since November; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Rachel’s Temper is a four-time winner at Belmont and logged solid work tab for first start in 247 days. Summer House owns versatile running style and holds razor-sharp current form; very playable. Momameamaria is speedy and can prove very tough on a soft lead.

FIFTH: Pagliacci notched four tight works since racing too near swift splits when an even fourth in last; more to give. Snap Decision tallied swift final fraction in most recent but has finished second as the favorite in last two starts; mixed message. Hieroglyphics fired two bullet works since determined maiden win in last at Gulfstream; must consider.

SIXTH: Parade moves to dirt after failing to get involved after hitting side of gate in debut on turf; addition of blinkers seals the deal. Privy Council owns field’s fastest figures but is a repeated failure at short odds; for chalk lovers only. In It for the Gold is training consistently for return from nine-month layoff for Rudy Rodriguez; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: La Sola Ranger made last-to-first rally when breaking maiden in Churchill Downs grass last time out; pairs up. Church Social consistently earns the field’s fastest late-pace figures; very dangerous. Grateful has hit the board in all five starts; logical, short-priced player.

EIGHTH: Hard Study has trained strongly since second straight score last out; more to come. Seymourdini also has won two in a row and is fleet-footed as well; very dangerous. Virtual Machine regressed in last after a series of fast-figured efforts; rebound threat. Discreet Lover could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues.

NINTH: Uncle Chester was a strong second to a repeat winner in last; now or never in weak nightcap. Uncle Tbone was just neck behind top selection after battling through vicious fractions on June 8; very dangerous. Discretionary Marq debuts for Christophe Clement; stay tuned to the tote. Pence, a newcomer from Linda Rice barn, is from a dam that’s thrown two turf winners; could be the goods.

New York Sports