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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, May 17

Best bet: ANGEL FOOD (8)

Best value: SPRING ON CURLIN (9)

FIRST: Consubstantial exits sprints and could play out as the controlling speed with aggressive ride from the rail. Forever Rising runs late and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the stretch. Stop Thinking switches to dirt after tough-trip third on grass in debut; very dangerous.

SECOND: Strike Play was a wide fourth when favored in debut at Keeneland; improvement predicted. Flashgun concluded work tab with crisp, half-mile drill May 11; could be the goods. Outshine was bought for $625,000 as a yearling; follow the money.

THIRD: Recruiting Ready chased swift splits and faded versus pricier field last time; softer flow expected today. Hoffenheim tallied fast late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner in last at Santa Anita; very playable. Classy Class is training sharply for return from 68-day freshener; very interesting.

FOURTH: Mobridge is a five-time winner on Belmont sod and compiled strong work slate for first start in nearly eight months. High Moon is speedy and posted on the fence; big-time, front-end danger. With Exultation needed last and drops; more than good enough on “A” game.

FIFTH: Daddy D T is rested and should be ideally positioned from favorable, outside post. Very Very Stella makes quick return and packs potent kick on best efforts; worth long look. Morning Buzz has won five of last six starts but will offer paltry price; must take the good with the bad.

SIXTH: Baseline is quick from the gate and could capitalize on unchallenged lead in compact field. Deeply Undervalued will be just that on the tote board but owns fast figures and hails from Chad Brown barn; mixed message. Brianbakescookies tallied career-best number on Belmont turf last fall; must consider.

SEVENTH: Pas de Deuce gets Lasix and fired 3-furlong bullet since solid third in debut in 10-horse field; more to give. Scripted has finished second at short odds in last two starts; continues trend? Anne’s Song was second to a much-the-best winner last out; developing and dangerous.

EIGHTH: Angel Food unleashed sustained rally when a convincing winner in first grass start last time; pairs up victories. Transition Tax is speedy and makes peak start of form cycle; very dangerous. Awsum Roar was a game second when 55 cents on the dollar last out; logical, short-priced player once again.

NINTH: Spring on Curlin owns fast late-pace figures on best efforts and is training with a purpose for first start since November; career-best predicted. Hoard owns speed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. High Promise was prepped on dirt last time and owns swift grass numbers; very dangerous. Freeload gets confident price hike after game placing in last; very interesting.

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