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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Sunday, July 31


Best Bet: HARP N HALO (10)

Best Value: BIBBO (6)

FIRST: Saratoga Heater returns to dirt and owns a win on Spa soil. Los Borrachos could be the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Cat Fiftyfive is speedy and will be aided by surface switch; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Summer Sweet was a useful fourth when favored in debut; forward move predicted. Dream Passage is from a dam that’s thrown a grass winner; follow the money. Majestic Tango also owns turf pedigree; challenging juvenile, turf dash.

THIRD: Carrumba owns a win and a second in two starts at Spa; rates close call. Curalina also loves Saratoga and is training sharply; very dangerous. Joint Return packs a potent late kick on “A” game.

FOURTH: Conquest Streetwar is riding a forward line on the numbers; call based on price potential. Arch Contender wheels back in a hurry after being said on opening day; very interesting. Energy Policy is training strongly for first start since April; very dangerous.

FIFTH: Day of Fury set solid fractions when a front-end winner at this level in last; more to come. Because I’m Happy makes fast return and owns win and a third in two starts at the Spa; price will be tempting. Mean Season is speedy and fired 3-furlong bullet on Monday; big-time player.

SIXTH: Bibbo notched career-best final fraction when a hard-charging winner in May at Belmont; more to give. Runaway Posse also won last start and logged three tight works in the interim; very playable. Brother O’Connell regressed in last after pairing up wins in previous two outings; rebound threat.

SEVENTH: Defrock is training with a purpose for debut; best guess in field of newcomers. Lights of Medina and Succeeding are firsters from the Todd Pletcher barn; stay tuned to the tote. Blind Pool is working swiftly; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Baccelo makes first start since said by David Jacobson and can perform on any footing. Macagone could prove to be a very tough customer on an unchallenged lead. English Minister packed sustained rally when a game second in last; don’t ignore.

NINTH: Bond Vigilante has been idle since April but could play out as the speed of the speed if all is well. New York Chrome will be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat if top selection hits the wall in the stretch. Pop the Hood is capable of fast-figured, front-running victories on best efforts; don’t dismiss.

TENTH: Harp N Halo was a change-of-pace second in last and was a winner on Spa sod last summer. Miss Matzoball is rested and owns swift numbers on best races. Joya Real packs potent late kick and fired half-mile bullet drill on July 17; worth long look.

ELEVENTH Nominal Dollars owns running style that should be aided by switch to turf; call in wide-open nightcap. Quality Indeed was speed sharpened in last and could play out as the controlling front-runner with aggressive ride. Good Response logged only win on Spa sod and owns fast late-pace numbers on best efforts. Araqeel has failed as the favorite in last two starts; you’ve been warned.


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