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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, July 14



Best Value: HARBOR KING (7)

FIRST: Dublinyourmoney tallied fast late-pace figure when a clear-cut third in last at Churchill Downs; ready for prime time. Diversify debuts for Rick Violette; stay tuned to the tote. Gucci Factor moves to dirt for Christophe Clement (21 percent); must consider.

SECOND: Helluva Choice has trained with a purpose since non-threatening fifth in debut; improvement predicted. Wes Ward entry: Kitten’s Solution concluded work tab with half-mile bullet and mate Don’t Gild Th Lily has top-shelf turf breeding; just one goes with Joel Rosario listed on both. Harlan’s Hunch makes first start for Todd Pletcher; need more?

THIRD: Saluda fired crisp, half-mile work since last start and could play out as the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Aix En Provence owns stalker’s style and fast numbers; very dangerous. Liberty Fuze can prove to be a front-running threat on “A” game.

FOURTH: Momma’s Mark gets class break and notched only career win on Belmont turf. River Dancer is fresh and packs potent late wallop on best. Honorable Daniel was a strong second in last; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Hudson River Gal has trained sharply since game placing in last; more to give. Stormy Alexis compiled tight work tab for first start since last August; worth long look. Queenofthechannel should pack intensified kick with cutback to shorter route.

SIXTH: Just Got Out fired bullet drill since strong third in last; main track only. Nuffsaid Nuffsaid could play out as the main speed if race is moved to dirt. Simple Love bested a pricier field in last. Saratoga Karaoke owns four wins on Belmont grass; don’t ignore.

SEVENTH: Harbor King was a front-running winner in last and could capitalize on unchallenged lead once again. Birchwood Road runs late and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Ocala Jim is another that would be aided by pace meltdown. Dream Doctor is riding a two-race winning streak; worth long look at long price.

EIGHTH: Dannie’s Deceiver made sustained rally to win last and logged three sharp works in the interim; pairs up. Loki’s Vengeance is speedy and needed last; dangerous. Mewannarose is rested and owns fast figs on best efforts.

NINTH: Buckwellspent was gelded and moves to grass in first start since claimed by Steve Asmussen; improvement predicted. Freedom Seven logged improved late-pace figure when a sharp second in last; very playable. Street Fightin Man was an even third in first start since six-month absence; tighter today. Southern Union must be factored into the mix if able to escape AE list.


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