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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Sunday, Sept. 17

Best Bet: TOP FORTITUDE (6); Best Value: GORELLI (9)

FIRST: John’s Island is fresh and packs potent kick on best efforts. Match Up was a front-running winner in last and owns faster back figures; dangerous. Are We Not Men also is speedy and is more than good enough on “A” efforts.

SECOND: Magnanimus Man is quick from gate and projects as main speed with return to dirt. Final Blessing has trained sharply since debut; very interesting. I’m an Ocala Dude debuts for Michelle Nevin; follow the money.

THIRD: Special Jo exits wire-to-wire win in last and has been claimed six times from last 10 starts; more to give. Play Big also was a front-running winner in last and also is a hot commodity at claim box; dangerous. Old Upstart could be sitting in the garden spot if top two selections engage in speed duel.

FOURTH: Princess Char flashed speed when fourth to a repeat winner in debut; addition of blinkers seals the deal. Mad Dog Matters should be aided by return to dirt; very playable. Danyelli is training with a purpose for Rudy Rodriguez; could be the goods.

FIFTH: Any Questions was pace and trip compromised in last at Saratoga and owns a win on Belmont grass; any questions? Liberal Spin runs late in sprints and should be aided by added ground; two bullet works since last start adds to appeal. California Swing is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Top Fortitude notched swift late-pace figure when a game second in last; more to come. Holding Aces regressed in last after fast-figured victory in previous start; rebound threat. Combat Controller was gelded after winning on July 26; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Unparalleled is quick from the gate and projects as the controlling speed with aggressive ride. Blue Atlas has logged solid numbers in both starts; logical, short-priced player. Pound Note was a willing second in debut; must be considered.

EIGHTH: Iron Power drops and makes third start since three-month layoff; set for breakthrough effort. Excluded closes in sprints and should benefit from longer distance. Converge owns two wins from five starts on Belmont sod; must be respected.

NINTH: Gorelli compiled eye-catching work slate for first start in 57 days; ready for career best off the bench. Heavy Meddle has finished second in last two starts and outworked 92 rivals on Sept. 9; very dangerous. The Caretaker needed last and owns fast back figures; worth long look.

TENTH: Shrink is training with a purpose for first start in 65 days for Michelle Nevin; call in wide-open nightcap. Paz the Wine logged career-best number on Belmont sod on June 16; very playable. Madame Ambassador is rested and owns solid back numbers; dangerous. Mazmania makes third start of form cycle; worth long look at long price.

New York Sports