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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, Sept. 28

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Best Bet: MCILROY (7); Best Value: AWESOME QUICK (5)

FIRST: Wildcat Belle is riding a forward line on the numbers and makes third start of form cycle. Honor Way was a determined winner in last and makes first start since claimed by Danny Gargan; very dangerous. Tarquinia was a fast-figured, front-end winner on dirt two races back; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Factorial owns fast final fractions and is working with a purpose for first start in 55 days. Hit the Diamond hits the turf and gets first-time Lasix; improvement expected. Sethary owns a second and a third in two grass starts; must respect.

THIRD: Layla lived up to heavy tote support when a decisive winner at 90 cents on the dollar in debut at Delaware; ready for the big time. Forever Liesl is fleet-footed and hails from streaking Michelle Nevin stable; very playable. Sky Gesture also is speedy and rested; don’t ignore.

FOURTH: Conspiring logged two swift works since non-threatening eighth on turf last out; return to dirt is key. Devine Union owns fast figures and is training swiftly for Chad Brown; logical, short-priced player. Tapella failed as the favorite last time after fast-figured second in debut; rebound potential.

FIFTH: Awesome Quick has three wins on Belmont grass and should be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat. Nisha won last on dirt and makes first start since claimed by David Jacobson; price could be generous. Vicki’s Dancer was a swift-numbered third in last; dangerous. Sunnysammi owns fast figures and hails from Jason Servis stable; worth long look.

SIXTH: Andretta compiled three tight works since tough-trip third (second by dq) in last; call based on price potential. Objective Complete tallied swift numbers in both starts; short odds are the problem. Spa Treatment failed to impact on sloppy surface last time but was a close-up fifth on turf in previous outing; must be factored into the fray.

SEVENTH: McIlroy notched rapid late-pace figure when a hard-charging second in last; more to come. Indebted was pace and position compromised when a better-than-it-looks fourth in last; very dangerous. Silver Dagger owns speed and adds blinkers; front-running threat.

EIGHTH: Tejana is quick from the gate and firing bullets for first start in 52 days; ready to roll. Rachel’s Temper turns back to a mile and should pack intensified late wallop; very interesting. Annie Rocks gets class relief and makes third start of form cycle; must be considered.

NINTH: Yabba drops and returns to dirt; set for forward move in weak nightcap. Fortunate Queen owns speed and logged eye-catching work tab for first start in 50 days; very dangerous. Special Risk could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Ouro Verde has three seconds and three thirds in eight starts; exotics inclusion.

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