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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Saturday, July 7


Best value: FROZEN DAIQUIRI (11)

FIRST: Social Paranoia was a clear-cut second in debut and holds experience edge in field of newcomers. Dillon Rocks concluded work tab with two bullet drills; could be the goods. Meade was bought for $250,000 as a yearling; follow the money.

SECOND: Mighty Zealous regressed in last start after fast-figure win in prior; rebounds. Gold for the King packs potent late kick and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Life in Shambles compiled tight work tab for first start since April; dangerous. Phi Beta Express is a front-end threat on “A” game; must consider.

THIRD: Attribute was a fast-figured, front-running winner in slop last out; transfers razor-sharp form to grass. Adonis Creed is working sharply for Brad Cox barn; worth long look. American Guru has delivered strong efforts (two wins and a second) in all three starts; right in the thick of this.

FOURTH: Im the Captain Now was pace-compromised when a better-than-it-looks fourth in last; more to give. Holiday Bonus was speed sharpened in first start since eight-month layoff last time; duly tightened. Haul Anchor is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Split Verdict tallied swift late-pace figure when breaking maiden in March and is working sharply for return. Nigel’s Destiny logged fast internal and final numbers when a determined winner in last; dangerous. Wine Not packs powerful kick on best and fired 5-furlong bullet drill June 23; worth long look.

SIXTH: Firenze Fire is 1-for-1 at Belmont and is favorably posted in competitive Dwyer Stakes. Noble Indy never had a chance in Belmont Stakes last time; big-time, front-end threat. Mendelssohn returns to U.S. after horror trip in Kentucky Derby; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Limousine Liberal cuts back to 7 furlongs after even third in Met Mile; amplified kick predicted. Eye Luv Lulu is fleet-footed and could go gate to wire if allowed unchallenged lead. Shaft of Light owns fast figures and ships in for high-octane Jorge Navarro barn; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Thewayiam notched solid final fraction when second in Penn National stake last time; ready for prime time. La Signare has trained well since front-running score in first start on Belmont grass last month; very dangerous. Mighty Scarlett was victimized by soft front-end flow when third in same last race as La Signare; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Name Changer has won four of last six starts and owns final numbers that are more than good enough in contentious Suburban field. Hoppertunity upped record to 2-for-2 on Belmont loam when winning Brooklyn last time; logical, short-priced player. Diversify is speed and owns five wins and two seconds in seven starts at Belmont; big-time player.

10TH: Catholic Boy was a courageous winner in first start on Belmont sod last time; more to come. Hawkish made sustained rally to win Penn Mile last out; very dangerous. My Boy Jack comes from the clouds but could sweep past the field if fractions get hot and hectic.

11TH: Frozen Daiquiri compiled tight work tab for first start since 11-month layoff; throw deep in wide-open nightcap. Dream Passage owns fast figures but has repeatedly disappointed at short odds; you’ve been warned. Last Chant owns speed and gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs; worth long look at long price. Dove Shoot debuts for white-hot Jonathan Thomas barn; stay tuned to the tote.


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