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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, June 8

Best Bet: PORTMAGEE (8)


FIRST: Sweet Avery logged two sharp works since third when favored in debut; tighter today. Privy Council owns fast figure but has burned loads of cash in all four starts; you’ve been warned. Stormy’s Song compiled eye-catching work slate for debut; could be the goods.

SECOND: Dynamax Prime owns fast late-pace figures and should pack intensified kick with cutback to mile. Wicked Macho was a front-end winner in debut and could play out as the controlling speed once again. Giant Expectations demolished maidens in the slop in first start at Belmont last time; giant player.

THIRD: Enchanting Kitten has delivered strong efforts in both starts and is training with a purpose for Chad Brown; rates close call. New Money Honey, also from Brown barn, is 1-for-1 on Belmont grass; very playable. Corporate Queen owns a running style that should be aided by switch to sod; don’t ignore.

FOURTH: Resonate has trained sharply since earning fast late-pace figure in debut; more to come. Apiary, from a dam that’s thrown two grass winners, should be favorably positioned near the front. Culpa Mia exits sprints and is another that should be on or near the lead.

FIFTH: Di Maria has worked swiftly since visually impressive win in debut; rates close call in Astoria stakes. I Still Miss You, another that impressed in first start, is speedy and could easily go wire to wire. Sugar Queen lived up to heavy tote support when winning first start; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: Sunset District logs fast late-pace figures and should move forward in second start since eight-month layoff. War Bond also packs potent kick and is riding a two-race winning streak. Richmond Street exits game placing in last; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Blessed Halo was a fast-figured, front-running winner in slop last time; more to give on dry land. Divine Interventio has finished second at short odds in last two starts; continues trend? Patternrecognition defeated top selection by more than four lengths when favored in debut on April 5 and has trained swiftly in the interim; very dangerous.

EIGHTH: Portmagee was unfazed by hot fractions when a front-running winner in first start on Belmont turf; pairs up. Rapid Rhythm owns fast final fractions and compiled tight work tab for first start in 54 days; very playable. Conquest Babayaga has won two in a row since moving to Chad Brown barn; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Noon Monsoon is training swiftly for first start in 330 days; throw deep in wide-open nightcap. Uncle Chester should find potent late wallop amplified with cutback to 6 furlongs; very dangerous. Money Laundering displayed speed in debut and could be aided by move to grass. Danny’s Rush tallied career-best number on Belmont turf last summer; worth long look.

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