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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, Oct. 12

Best bet: VULCAN’S FORGE (7)

Best value: STRIKE MIDNIGHT (8)

FIRST: Gata’s Applause endured tough setup when an even fourth in debut; forward move predicted. My Roxy Girl bested top selection by two lengths when third on Sept. 21; very dangerous. Caoimhe shows a workout tab that culminated with a half-mile bullet; could be the goods.

SECOND: Baronet caught slop last time after making forward move on the numbers in prior turf starts; call based on price. Tiz a Kitten was a late-running second at this level in last; big-time player. Magician’s Vanity is fresh, training sharply and owns fast figures; could easily take this.

THIRD: Mollica is speedy and could secure an unchallenged lead with aggressive ride. Bar None has finished second as the favorite in last two starts; continues trend? Bunyaan drops two price levels after subpar fifth in last; fire sale?

FOURTH: Magnetron passed runners at every call when fourth in debut; more to give. Golden Seal is from a dam that has thrown four turf winners; very dangerous in grass debut. Rockin Jo displayed dramatic improvement when moved to the sod last time; must be factored into the mix. Now a Factor also is riding a forward line on the numbers.

FIFTH: Rainy Night fired crisp half-mile Oct. 4 after even third when returning from a 31-month layoff last time; duly tightened. Bahnahno could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues. Iwishirish is fleet-footed and gets favorable cutback in distance; must consider.

SIXTH: O Captainmycaptain turns back to sprint and should pack amplified late wallop in weak maiden field. Givetheman a Cigar drops into maiden claimer after being compromised by poor start last time; must be considered if able to escape AE list. Shipsandgoods fired half-mile bullet drill since last start; worth long look at long price. Get Game was a game fourth after gaining brief lead in the stretch last out; must consider.

SEVENTH: Vulcan’s Forge upped record to 2-for-2 at Belmont Park when a fast-figured winner Sept. 15; two half-mile works in the interim seals the deal. Ocean Knight is speedy, rested and owns fast figures on “A” game; very playable. Economic Model is working swiftly and packs strong kick on best efforts; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Strike Midnight gets confident price boost after tough-trip placing Aug. 24 at Saratoga; notched both career wins on Belmont grass. Snap Decision is fresh and logged fast-figured score in most recent start on Belmont turf (July 3); very dangerous. Cerise’s Prince moves to the fence after being victimized by wide trip last time; worth long look.

NINTH: Silberado adds blinkers and makes first start with maiden claimers; primed for wake-up. Brianbakescookies has finished second at short odds in last three starts; burns the chalk players once again? Harlan’s Hunch is speedy but has lost ground in the lane in all nine starts; must take the good with the bad. Knight Errant can prove to be a stretch threat on best efforts. Admirals Cove makes third start of form cycle; don’t ignore.

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