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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Saturday, Aug. 20



Best Value: BLACKTYPE (9)

FIRST: Rodriguez entry: Bileaps and Bounds is speedy and drops and mate Champagne Ruby bested a pricier field in last; potent pairing. Run a Dubb Dubb owns fast back figures. Spectacular Flash should be aided by return to dirt.

SECOND: Blame Will should pack amplified kick with cutback to sprint. Always Dreaming was third in well-bet debut; dangerous. Mr. Classical is training sharply for debut for Chad Brown; could be the goods.

THIRD: Ma Can Do It is working with a purpose for first start in two months. Nickel lost a head bob for top prize last time; big-time player. Sherini hails from potent turf-to-dirt barn.

FOURTH: Gloves Off could play out as the controlling speed in compact field. Scout Leader has finished second in four of last five starts; continues trend? Red Drum would be aided by fast fractions.

FIFTH: High Noon Rider tallied improved late-pace figure when compromised by soft flow last time; call based on price. Green Mask owns swift final numbers and is working sharply; very playable. Disco Partner packs strong late wallop on best efforts.

SIXTH: It’s Your Nickel is bred to move forward with switch to sod. Rule Yourself closed well in debut and should benefit from longer trip. Focus Group makes first start for Chad Brown; need more?

SEVENTH: Air on Fire fired an eye-catching half-mile work since middle move and fade in debut; more to give. Condo Prince made wide, sustained rally when second in debut; very dangerous. Seven Forty Seven has been flying in his workouts; follow the money.

EIGHTH: Orient Harbor logged second career win on Spa sod when a hard-charging victor in last; pairs up. Justa Lady is a front-running threat on “A” game. Ava’s Kitten should pack intensified wallop with cutback to sprint.

NINTH: Blacktype is riding a two-race winning streak and notched half-mile bullet on Monday; more to come. Grand Arch is rested, training with a purpose and owns swift numbers on best races. A Lot is more than good enough on “A” game. Force the Pass has hit the board in 10 of 11 lifetime starts; must be factored into the mix.

TENTH: Songbird is 9-for-9; Alabama that’s suitable for watching only. Family Tree notched swift late-pace number when winning last at Indian Grand; ready for prime time? Dark Nile won Grade III Delaware Oaks last out; formidable task today.

ELEVENTH: Ocala Jim was a game second in last and should move forward in second start since May. Orino drops after tough-trip 10th in last; improvement expected. Converge is riding a strong line on late-pace and final figures; must consider.

TWELFTH: Esther the Queen regressed in last after fast-figured fifth in previous start; rebounds. Day after Day could play out as the main speed in turf debut; very dangerous. Celestial Sighting notched a win and a second in two starts on Spa sod last summer; big-time contender. Lulu’s Blues holds razor-sharp current condition; right in the thick of this.


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