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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, June 11


Best Value: ROUGH SEA (7)

FIRST: Esther the Queen was a determined winner in last and owns faster back figures. Miss Aja Brown is firing bullets and logged both career wins on Belmont grass. Five Hearts was second to a repeat winner in last; very dangerous.

SECOND: Bileaps and Bounds is fresh and projects as the main speed. Champagne Ruby will be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Moondance Joy is another that would be aided by pace meltdown.

THIRD: Evidently owns swift late-pace figures on best efforts. Desiree Clary is working consistently and is 1-for-1 on Belmont grass; very playable. Wekeela is rested and hails from Chad Brown barn; underlay potential.

FOURTH: Big Guy Ian is speedy, drops and makes peak start of form cycle. Evolution is training with a purpose for first start since January; dangerous. Risetotheoccasion is right in the thick of this on “A” game.

FIFTH: French Dressing owns speed and is training with a purpose for first start since last fall; call based on price potential. Veil packs potent late kick and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. More Than a Legend is working sharply for first start in eight months; must consider.

SIXTH: One Eyed Ray was a useful third in first start since eight-month layoff last out; forward move predicted. River Knight is speedy and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead; worth long look. Manifest Destiny delivered flat effort in last but is right in the thick of this on best.

SEVENTH: Rough Sea was a willing second in key-race debut at Keeneland and fired 5-furlong bullet on May 31; more to come. Clear N Convincing has trained sharply since second to a runaway winner in last; dangerous. Fayeq delivered strong efforts in both starts; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Uncle Sigh logged solid final fraction when a clear-cut winner in last outing; half-mile bullet on June 6 seals the deal. Orino is rested and owns fast late-pace figures on best efforts. Black Tide has tallied dominant, front-running scores in last two starts; very dangerous. Startup Nation has been idle for nearly a year but makes first start since gelded; mixed message.

NINTH: Sadie Be Good notched visually and numerically impressive win the first time she touched Belmont loam; pairs up. Vertical Oak logged fast-figured scores in last two starts at Pimlico; big-time player. Chalon ships in from SoCal for high-octane Peter Miller stable; must consider.

TENTH: Act Surprised, from a dam that’s produced two turf winners, moves to grass after dueling on the lead in debut; more to give. Legendary Humor gets rider upgrade after making sustained rally when second at 104-1 to last time; very playable. Brooklyn Speights has finished second at last four starts; logical, short-priced player. Wintry displayed improved speed in last; worth long look at long price.

New York Sports