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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, July 17


Best Bet: PURE LEMON (8)

Best Value: SHOTGUN LOVE (4)

FIRST: Time Squared earned improved final fraction in last; more to give. Young Anna Lee owns sprinter’s speed and looms the dominant front-runner. Lilikoi regressed in last after finishing second in previous three starts; don’t ignore.

SECOND: Junger took backward step in last after game placing in previous; rebounds. Ordinaire could be in the garden spot if fractions get hot and hectic. D’Eloquent owns speed and moves to grass; very interesting.

THIRD: Missy Mouse is fresh, training sharply and owns fast figures; set for breakthrough. Warriors Diva is riding a two-race winning streak; very dangerous. Egyptian Rose was a stubborn maiden winner in last; don’t ignore.

FOURTH: Shotgun Love is rested and could play out as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Champagne Ruby compiled five tight works for first start in 50 days and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Omagoddonna needed last and drops; dangerous.

FIFTH: There Goes Ben has worked three times since tough-trip seventh in last; rates close call. Lead by Example adds blinkers after narrowly besting top selection last time; dangerous. Vino Blanco drops and makes first start since gelded; worth long look.

SIXTH: Fearthefalcon ships in from South Florida and can win from on or off the pace. Papa Shot should improve in second turf start for Linda Rice; dangerous. Forever in Love, also from Rice stable, was a fast-figured second in last; logical, short-priced player.

SEVENTH: Table for Six has worked strongly since hard-charging placing on May 28; more to come. Free N Clear gets class relief after earning deceptively fast figure in last; very interesting. Miss Kew logged only career win on Belmont grass; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Pure Lemon gets confident price hike after tenacious score in stateside debut; more in the tank. On Leave notched three tight works since clear-cut maiden score in last; big-time player. J La Tache should be favorably positioned near the front in big field.

NINTH: Paz the Bourbon logged solid late-pace figure when second in debut; tight work tab in the interim seals the deal. Wilburnmoney is the only member of this field with a victory; could easily take another. Zenna did the dirty work up front when second to Wilburnmoney on June 16; very playable.

TENTH: Uptown Joe makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and first start since gelded; breakthrough predicted. Cav chased sizzling splits when making first start in 10 months last time; very dangerous. Naqafeer gets the meds and should move forward for potent second-out stable. Tea and Cricket returns to grass after failing as the favorite last time; must consider.


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