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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Friday, July 20

Best bet: SICILIA MIKE (3)

Best value: HAY FIELD (6)

FIRST: Bad Student drops and owns fast figures on “A” efforts; close call in meet’s opener. Believe in Luck owns fast late-pace figures and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Too Fast to Pass owns sprinter’s speed and could prove very tough on a soft lead.

SECOND: Too Foofoo for You was a front-end second to a repeat winner in last; timid call in race that’s loaded with newcomers. Drynachan debuts for Chad Brown; need more? Caralicious was compromised by slow splits when third in first start; don’t ignore.

THIRD: Sicilia Mike makes third start of form cycle and should pack amplified kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Comeoncomeoncat is fleet-footed and could play out as the speed of the speed. Monteleone regressed in last after game placing in prior; rebound potential. Formal Start could impact if fractions get fast and furious.

FOURTH: Big Agenda has continually failed as the favorite but may receive ideal setup in contentious field; now or never. Dominant Strategy fired 5-furlong bullet for first grass start for Chad Brown; obviously could take this. Shiny Copper Penny is 0-for-22 but owns competitive numbers and could offer playable price; very interesting.

FIFTH: Wild Type has trained sharply since finishing third in key-race debut at Churchill Downs; demand value in juvenile dash that’s jammed with high-priced newcomers. Mertz has finished second in both starts; continues trend? Blahnik was bought for $575K this past March; could be the goods.

SIXTH: Hay Field tallied swift late-pace figure when a clear-cut winner this past Sunday; pairs up. Dancing All Night has been sidelined for nearly a year but is training swiftly for return; very dangerous. Laney owns advantageous stalker’s style and makes third start for form cycle; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Sweet August Lady owns solid final fractions and stretches to suitably longer trip. Way Smart was just a half-length behind top selection on June 23 and will also be aided by added ground; dangerous. Cumbria holds razor-sharp current condition; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Nonna Madeline lived up to heavy tote support when a visually impressive winner in debut; more to come in contentious Schuylerville. Catherinethegreat crushed a Gulfstream Park maiden field by 10 lengths last out; big-time threat. Lady Apple has delivered strong efforts in both starts; must be considered.

NINTH: Altea was pace compromised in last and should pack intensified wallop with cutback to shorter route. Punked, an uncoupled barn mate (Chad Brown) of top selection, has the benefit of the rail and owns fast late-pace figures; be no surprise. Goodthingstaketime is fresh and owns positional speed; must be factored into the mix.

10TH: Shamsaan makes first start since gelded and owns swift late-pace figures on best efforts; throw deep in wide-open nightcap. Prognostication compiled tight work tab for first start since October for Chad Brown; any questions. County Court should pack enhanced late kick with cutback from marathon trips. Dark Energy was a tough-trip fourth in last; worth long look at long price.

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