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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Saturday, Oct. 15

Best Bet: AVAIL EKATI (1)

Best Value: GEAR JAMMER (9)

FIRST: Avail Ekati gets the meds and fired 5-furlong bullet drill since late-running fifth in debut; more to come. Newman was third to a repeat winner in first start; very dangerous. You’re to Blame was a much-improved second in last; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Greeley’s Farewell was en easy winner at Finger Lakes last time and should transfer razor-sharp form to turf. Ima Wildcat is riding a four-race winning streak; very dangerous. Liberal Spin could impact if front-end meltdown comes to pass.

THIRD: Star Empire notched swift internal numbers when facing stakes field at Arlington Park last time; close call in small Futurity field. Reckling has trained sharply since fast-figured maiden win at the Spa; very dangerous. Theory also has worked swiftly since impressive score in debut; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Irish Filibuster compiled tight work tab for first start since February; outside slot at 7 furlongs seals the deal. Agronomy displayed heightened speed with addition of blinkers; dangerous. Southern Union owns fast figures but is 0-for-12; must take the good with the bad.

FIFTH: Big Al Parker has been sidelined since March but tallied lone victory after a layoff; history repeats. Mystery Solved was a much-the-best winner at Monmouth in most recent outing; very dangerous. Zartax is speedy and gets Lasix; must consider. Kenyan won last and makes first start since claimed by Rudy Rodriguez; must be factored into the mix.

SIXTH: English Minister displayed improved speed in last and gets favorable cutback to 7 furlongs; close call in ultra-contentious turf dash. Hothersal drops and packs potent late kick on best. Plainview is speedy, rested and must be respected. Dowse’s Beach exits strong placing in last; dangerous.

SEVENTH: Frosty Gal was a tough-trip fourth in last and hails from suddenly-live Barclay Tagg stable. The Eagle Is Gone was a game second in debut; very playable. Easy Way Out concluded work slate with 5-furlong bullet; could be the goods.

EIGHTH: Louisville First tallied swift numbers when winning key race last time and logged three tight works in the interim; pairs up victories. Welcoming closed into fast final fraction when third in last and should have more to give in second start since three-month layoff; very playable. Insta Erma bested Welcoming by nearly two lengths when a determined winner on Sept. 15; dangerous.

NINTH: Gear Jammer logged only win on Belmont sod and is training strongly for first start since August; call in wide-open nightcap. Space Oddity also is working with a purpose for first outing since August; worth long look. Built for Profit overcame soft flow to break maiden at Monmouth last out; razor-sharp and dangerous. Crafty Colonel drops and owns fast late-pace figures on “A” game. Par makes peak start of form cycle and must be considered if able to escape AE list.


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