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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, May 31

Best bet: GREATREVIEWS (8)

Best value: METAPHORICAL (3)

FIRST: Presumptuous is 0-for-18 but appears to have found the right field. Mockery is training sharply for first start in 49 days; dangerous. Golden Award fired 5-furlong bullet since late-running fifth in debut; improvement expected.

SECOND: Currency Chaos drops after displaying improved speed in last; breakthrough predicted. Kickin Kimberly was fifth in first start since six-month layoff last time; forward move expected. Goldmakesmesmile could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues; worth long look at long price.

THIRD: Metaphorical gets class relief, returns to dirt and could be sitting on career best in weak field. Hidden Bamboo gets Lasix after strong second in last; be no surprise. Merger of Banks was a fast-figured third at 42-1 last time; worth long look at long price.

FOURTH: Little Code notched swift late-pace figure in last on Monmouth turf; crisp 3-furlong work in the interim seals the deal. Votre Coeur gets added ground after being compromised by wide trip in last; very playable. Pure Michigan owns a win and two seconds from three starts; dangerous.

FIFTH: Cullum Road has earned fast final fractions in winning last two starts; more to come. Gio Dude makes peak start of form cycle after being pace- and trip-compromised in last; very playable. Year of the Kitten gets class relief after subpar effort in last; dangerous on best.

SIXTH: Beckoning has trained with a purpose since tallying better-than-it-looks late-pace figure in stateside debut at Tampa in March; rates close call in competitive field. Theodosia showed improved speed in sprint on Santa Anita’s downhill course last time; front-running threat. Catharsis also is quick from gate and has top-notch, front-end rider aboard; worth long look. Data Dependent packs potent late kick on best; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Combat Controller was a determined winner in last and owns faster back figures; pairs up. Turco Bravo gets class relief and is more than good enough on “A” game; forward move on tap. Bellamy Way takes suspicious three-level price plunge; fire sale?

EIGHTH: Greatreviews notched rapid late-pace figure when winning by more than six lengths in last start; tight recent work tab is the clincher. Isotope, another that visually impressed in winning last, loves Belmont Park; big-time threat. Alberobello also was a much-the-best winner in last start and fired half-mile bullet in the interim; must consider.

NINTH: Chenais’ Posse owns sprinter’s speed and could secure unchallenged lead at longer trip. Rosey Gal is from a dam that has produced three turf winners; wake-up potential with surface switch. Lady Rozina makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; right in the thick of this. Geranium changes barns after never getting involved in well-bet debut; don’t ignore.

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