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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, May 26

Best Bet: TIZZELLE (5)

Best Value: WEEKEND SCORE (9)

FIRST:Dickinson logged three tight works since tough-trip third in last start; more to come. My Savannah Belle drops and makes peak start of form cycle after firing 3-furlong bullet on May 11; dangerous. Eskenformoney was empty in last but owns fast back figures; more than good enough on ‘A’ effort.

SECOND: Conquest Hardcandy ships in from Kentucky for debut; sneaky-good work tab seals the deal. Pletcher entry: Driven by Speed has shown speed in works and mate Funny Surprise logged two, 5-furlong drills to conclude work tab; potent pairing. Leah’s Dream compiled steadily intensifying work slate as debut drew near; follow the money.

THIRD:High I. Q. Pete drops after speed and fade in first start since 13-month absence; tighter today. Wheres Willy could be the prime beneficiary if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Afleet Martini was second to a repeat winner in last; very dangerous.

FOURTH:Try Flying regressed in last after fast-figured placing in prior; rebounds in first start for David Jacobson. Howie’s Tiz runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Interior Secretary should be aided by cutback to 7 furlongs; don’t ignore.

FIFTH:Tizzelle tallied solid late pace figure when a hard-charging second in debut and logged three tight works in the interim. Laurel Heights was less than three lengths behind top selection after wide trip in first start; very dangerous. Eighth Commandment could improve with switch to sod.

SIXTH:Picco Uno was a much-improved second in last and should be aided by added sixteenth. Hot Cajun Sauce adds blinkers and logged four tight works since last start; improvement expected. Pira moves to dirt for H. James Bond; don’t ignore.

SEVENTH: Bibbo won two in a row on Gulfstream grass and is training with a purpose for Belmont debut. Oscar Mike makes peak start of form cycle after even fifth in last; dangerous. Sakara drops and tallied swift final fraction two starts back; very interesting.

EIGHTH:Gettysburg set hot pace and paid the price in the lane in Arkansas Derby; takes this with softer flow. Gift Box earned swift numbers as a juvenile and is training sharply for 3-year-old debut; very playable. American Pioneer bounced in Arkansas Derby after fast-figured win two starts back; very dangerous with rebound effort.

NINTH: Weekend Score was a useful fifth in first start since four-month layoff and owns two wins and two seconds in five starts on Belmont turf. My Dinah Lee never fired in off-the-turf race at Keeneland last month; very dangerous with return on sod. Dicey Flats bested a next-out winner when a front-running second in last; big-time threat. Light Years Away owns sprinter’s speed and could secure uncontested lead with aggressive ride; worth long look at long price.

New York Sports