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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Wednesday, Oct. 25


Best value: FLY BY (6)

FIRST: Foreign Affair owns field’s most consistent late kick; rates close call. Sandy Belle is speedy and will prove very tough on a soft lead; very playable. Veil Dance runs late and could impact if pace meltdown ensues.

SECOND: Aoife was too close to hot fractions last time after fast-figured third in prior start; rebounds today. Naples Parade failed to deliver when favored in last; more to give in second start since seven-month layoff. Merger Arbitrage is training with a purpose for first start since December for Chad Brown; need more?

THIRD: Arbitrator was second to a repeat winner in last start; tight, recent work tab seals the deal. Devine Dental is speedy and needed last; very interesting. Bitumen drops to lifetime low; more than good enough if all is well.

FOURTH: Indimaaj is fresh and projects as the controlling front-runner with aggressive rider aboard. Gravitating has trained sharply since strong second in debut; could easily take this. Impact Player failed to deliver when favored on grass last time but tallied top-figured second in dirt debut two starts back; very dangerous.

FIFTH: Solid displayed improved speed when a game second in last; close call in contentious maiden turf dash. Indifference is quick from the gate and can prove very tough on a soft lead. Ambassador Jim should possess enhanced staying power with cutback to 6 furlongs; dangerous.

SIXTH: Fly By was overmatched in Grade 3 stakes at Laurel last time but tallied fast late-pace figure when second on Belmont grass in prior; rebounds. Remarqued is riding a forward line on late-pace and final numbers; very interesting. Bonita Springs chased fast fractions and faded last time; worth long look at long price. Abbreviate capitalized on sizzling splits when winning last; underlay material.

SEVENTH: Shamsaan compiled five tight works for first start since 68-day freshener; primed and ready. Holiday Bonus tallied rapid final fraction when victimized by slow fractions last time; very playable. Not in Charge unleashed eye-catching four-wide move when winning at 10-furlong marathon trip last time; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Littlemissbusiness was a clear-cut winner in last and owns faster back figures; pairs up. Royal Inheritance is fleet-footed and could play out as the dominant speed; very dangerous. Your Love owns swift numbers and is 2-for-2 at Belmont Park; for chalk lovers only.

NINTH: Canarsie Kid was unfazed by scorching splits when a wire-to-wire winner last out; more to come. Theycallhimthekid drops and makes peak start of form cycle; big-time threat. Padilla returns to Belmont turf after decisive victory on Parx dirt last time; very interesting. Rapscallion consistently delivers strong efforts; must be factored into the mix.

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