39° Good Morning
39° Good Morning

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Saturday, Sept. 16

Best Bet: HAMMERIN AAMER (8); Best Value: TOUGHEST ‘OMBRE (7)

FIRST: Shadow Surprise is speedy, rested and training with a purpose. Casigordo could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Here and There is riding a forward line on the numbers; dangerous.

SECOND: Markitoff tallied improved late-pace figure in last; needs scratches to get in. Harlan’s Hunch is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Love Your Buttons runs late and should be aided by longer trip.

THIRD: Prolific is firing bullets for debut; best guess in field of newcomers. Victory Lane was purchased for $675K as a yearling; could be the goods. Debating makes first start for Chad Brown; any questions?

FOURTH: Ritzy Lass makes first start since claimed by Robertino Diodoro; call in contentious dash. Josephine’s Moment is speedy and makes first start for David Jacobson; very dangerous. Littlemissbusiness regressed in last but is more than good enough on “A” effort.

FIFTH: Matty’s Magnum was a tough-trip seventh in debut; call based on price potential. History Supreme moves to grass after failing as the favorite in both dirt starts; recoups losses? Rushing Fall and Filfila are first timers from Chad Brown barn; neither would surprise.

SIXTH: Silly Numbers gets class relief and notched only win on Belmont sod. Gold Lace is fresh and owns sprinter’s speed; big-time, front-end threat. Weekend Hottie was flat in two starts at Saratoga but was a winner in most recent outing on Belmont turf; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Toughest ’Ombre is riding a forward line on late-pace and final figures; return to Belmont is key. Black Tide is speedy and has won four of last six starts; very dangerous. Cerise’s Prince owns fast figures and notched both wins on Belmont grass; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Hammerin Aamer compiled tight work tab for first start in 52 days and logged most recent win after similar layoff. Harlan Punch makes quick return after determined win at Belmont last week; very playable. Meantime consistently delivers strong efforts; big-time player.

NINTH: Uni tallied sizzling final fraction when second in Lake Placid; paltry price is the problem. Inflexibility is 1-for-1 on Belmont sod; very playable. Empressof the Nile broke maiden by more than six lengths last out; developing and dangerous.

TENTH: Cloud Control notched both wins on Belmont turf and drops to lifetime low. Bushmill Giant needed last and owns fast back numbers; worth long look at long price. Pioneer Spirit was a front-running maiden winner in last; inside speed must be respected. Cordero, another last-race winner, has trained sharply in the interim.

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