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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, Oct. 26

Best bet: CAMP COURAGE (6)

Best value: HAY FIELD (9)

FIRST: Mission Command moves to grass after earning improved internal numbers in last start and logged four tight works in the interim; all systems go. Colonel Andy owns two seconds and a win from last three starts; dangerous. Mineralogy returns to grass after tough-trip sixth on dirt last out; price will be tempting.

SECOND: Indy Union returns to dirt and drops back in with maidens after subpar effort in turf stakes last time; rebounds. Pink Sands was a much-improved second in second career start last out; dangerous. Delta House could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues.

THIRD: Palinodie logged three tight works for first start since eight-week freshener; primed and ready. Graceful Gal runs late and could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues. Silver Shaker was a hard-charging winner for Chad Brown last out; be no surprise.

FOURTH: Havana Affair set fast, pressured fractions and paid the price last time; softer flow predicted today. Got the Gist fired half-mile bullet since being victimized by rough start in last; very playable. Grand Banks has finished second in last two outings; logical contender.

FIFTH: Missimpazi could get the early jump in race that’s jammed with newcomers. Miss Hot Stones was a fast-figured second in debut; could easily take this. Byself noticeably picked up tempo of workouts as race day drew near; could be the goods.

SIXTH: Camp Courage compiled strong work slate for first start since gelded; class drop seals the deal. Tiz a Chance was a fast-figured second on turf two starts back; dangerous. Abbot runs late and could appreciate 7-furlong trip.

SEVENTH: Jacobson entry: Lewys Vaporizer owns speed and fast figures and mate Very Very Stella tallied swift late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner in last; potent pairing. A Fleet Attitude regressed in last after swift-numbered second in prior; bounce-back threat. Always a Suspect is another that took backward step in most recent outing; very interesting with blinkers back on.

EIGHTH: Classic Covey logged hard-charging maiden victory when getting Lasix last time; more to come. Capitaine owns speed and should be favorably positioned near the front at big price; worth long look. Nutzforboltz wheels back quickly for new barn after tenacious score this past Friday; must consider.

NINTH: Hay Field lost by an inch when second in 14-horse field last time; more to give. The Cake is a Lie drops and is training with a purpose for first start since July; very dangerous. This Bird Can Sing was fourth as the favorite in same last race as top selection; pattern of failing at short odds is the problem. Desert Affair owns five seconds and five thirds from 14 starts; lacks will to win?

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