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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Saturday, Oct. 8


Best value: UNREPENTING (11)

FIRST: Come Around tallied solid final fraction when winning second straight last time; more to come. All Is Number needed last and owns fast back numbers; price will be tempting. Irish Prayer was a swift-figured fourth in last; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Im the Captain Now exits non-stressful tightener in debut and moves to grass with suitable pedigree. California Swing owns sprinter’s speed and could enjoy soft lead at longer trip. Panama Papers regressed in last after improved placing in prior; bounce-back threat.

THIRD: South Sea displayed improved speed in last and gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs. Robbins should improve for potent second-out stable; very interesting. Your Way and Son of a Saint are uncoupled newcomers from Todd Pletcher barn; happy hunting.

FOURTH: Yellow Agate notched solid late-pace figure when winning debut; added quarter-mile should play to strength. Nonna Mela has logged fast numbers in winning last two starts; dangerous. Libby’s Tail endured rough trip in Adirondack at Spa; must be considered.

FIFTH: Tamarkuz has trained with a purpose since hard-charging second in Forego; call based on price in contentious Kelso. Upstart also is working sharply and owns swift numbers; big-time player. Point Piper ships in from the West Coast for Jerry Hollendorfer; right in the thick of this on “A” game.

SIXTH: Itsonlyactingdad was pace and trip compromised in last start; deserves another chance if price is right. Sentiero Italia was too near sizzling splits when a game third last time; very playable. Lady Eli could regress or move forward in second start since more than yearlong absence; you make the call.

SEVENTH: Disco Partner is rested, training consistently and packs potent kick on best; call in wide-open Belmont Turf Sprint. Pure Sensation is speedy and 1-for-1 on Belmont grass; very dangerous. Long On Value was just a neck behind top selection when fourth in blanket finish in Troy last time; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Practical Joke logged rapid final fraction when a game winner of Hopeful last time; rates close nod in deep Champagne. Syndergaard has mowed down both fields he has faced; very dangerous. Big Gray Rocket ships in for Bob Baffert after clear-cut maiden win at Del Mar; worth long look.

NINTH: Inspector Lynley overcame soft flow and tough trip to win Saranac last time; more to come. American Patriot owns fast late-pace and final figures and hails from Chad Brown barn; very playable. Beach Patrol, an uncoupled barn mate of American Patriot, must overcome tough post; demand value.

10TH: Protonico was a “soft” winner of tuneup for JCGC and owns faster back numbers; call based on price potential. Effinex is the only member of field with wins at the 10-furlong trip; potential underlay is the problem. Mubtaahij could impact if pace meltdown ensues.

11TH: Unrepenting logged eye-catching 11-length score in last on Parx dirt; transfers razor-sharp current condition to Belmont sod. No Texting is fleet-footed and makes third start of form cycle; very playable. Prophet’s Cat packs a potent late punch on best efforts. Lead by Example is another that owns solid stretch kick; must consider.


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