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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, Oct. 23


Best Value: ABIDING STAR (7)

FIRST: Urbanity is training with a purpose for first start in more than six months; primed and ready. Sister Charm should improve with return to dirt; price will be tempting. Grassarla has delivered strong efforts in both starts; dangerous.

SECOND: Ten Penny Princess tallied improved final fraction when winning last; pairs up. Resilient One gets confident price hike after game placing in last; very playable. Carnevale consistently logs fast figures; dangerous.

THIRD: Daggerpoint owns fast late-pace numbers and makes first start since claimed by Bruce Levine; rates close call. Bustin It is speedy and owns fast figs; very dangerous. Driving Me Crazy is right in the thick of this on “A” game.

FOURTH: Foreign Affair has worked sharply since useful debut; more to give. Mint Condition moves to grass for Kiaran McLaughlin; very interesting. Journey Home is from a dam that has thrown three grass winners; follow the money.

FIFTH: BallaghRocks overcame soft fractions to break maiden in budding key race; close call in wide-open turf marathon. Richmond Street, an uncoupled barn mate (Bill Mott) of top selection, won maiden race at the distance last time; worth long look. Bibbo exits fast-figured placing in last; must be factored into the mix.

SIXTH: Rich ‘n’ Tuck loves Belmont Park (three wins, two seconds and a third) and should offer playable price in compact field. Gypsum Johnny owns fast numbers but has been idle since May; must take the good with the bad. Top Brass has trained strongly since fast-figured win in debut; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Abiding Star logged front-running, swift-numbered victory on this course and at distance last out; ready for prime time. Isotherm has been delivering strong efforts in graded stakes field; very dangerous. Scholar Athlete is 1-for-1 on Belmont grass and was just two lengths behind Isotherm in Keeneland stake last out; must be considered.

EIGHTH: Means Well was a front-end winner at Delaware last time and owns a win on Belmont sod; more to come. My Sweet Girl logged three tight works since last start and should move forward in second start since layoff. Stormy Victoria owns two wins and a third in three starts on Belmont grass; dangerous.

NINTH: Preferred Outcome has logged solid final fractions in both turf starts; rates close call in wide-open nightcap. Speightful Kitten fired 5-furlong bullet for first start in 55 days; very dangerous. Jo’s Bold Cat bested top selection by nearly three lengths on July 29; right in the thick of this. Danny’s Rush will improve with return to grass; must be factored into the mix.


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