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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, June 26



FIRST: Kelsocait owns speed and logged three tight works for return to dirt; controlling front-runner with proper ride. Lilikoi has finished second in four of last five starts; continues trend? Verve’s Tale owns fast figs and strong works but is another that appears to prefer minor awards.

SECOND: Cuckoo’s Saloon regressed in last after ultra-game placing in previous start; rebounds. Soul Approval logged improved final fraction in last at Penn National; price will be tempting. Holy Week returns to more manageable distance; don’t ignore.

THIRD: Seventhfleethumor tallied solid late-pace figure when a game second in last; more to give. Manhattan Johnnie is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Recanted compiled stamina-building work slate for first start in eight months; must consider.

FOURTH: Classy Chris was a clear-cut second in turf debut two starts back; rates close call. True Charm will be a strong threat if able to secure a soft lead. Madison Blues is rested and should possess enhanced staying power at 6 furlongs; dangerous.

FIFTH: Silent Waters drops in with NY breds and owns fast late-pace and final numbers on best efforts. Sudden Surprise could play out as the dominant speed in turf debut; very dangerous. Bust Another also makes first grass start and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

SIXTH: Testosterstone took backward step in last after fast-figured placing in previous start; bounces back today. Thirst for Glory logged five sharp works for first start in 50 days; big-time player. Taoiseach packs a potent late kick on “A” game; don’t dismiss.

SEVENTH: The J Y has trained strongly since dominant maiden score in the mud last month; transfers razor-sharp form to turf. Storm Prophet tallied swift final fraction when a hard-charging second in last; dangerous. Crescent Street was speed sharpened in last and should move forward in second start since seven-month absence; very playable.

EIGHTH: Delta Outlaw is speedy, rested and fired 5-furlong bullet work for first start in nine months; primed and ready. Mawthooq has delivered strong efforts in all four starts; logical, short-priced player. Sunny Puzzle crushed a claiming field by nine lengths last out and must be factored into mix; worth long look.

NINTH: Wonderment returns to grass and projects as the controlling speed with proper handling. Naked Empress cuts back to 7 furlongs and should pack amplified late wallop; very dangerous. Frosty Margarita owns fast dirt figures and fired 5-furlong bullet on grass last week; right in the thick of this.

TENTH: American Creed owns stalker’s style that could be well served in wide-open nightcap. Bass River Road owns fast figures but drops in first start since claimed; must take the good with the bad. Storm Pursuit was an ultra-game second in last and owns 10 wins in 31 starts; very dangerous. Be a Hero makes peak start of form cycle and is more than good enough on best efforts.

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