31° Good Afternoon
31° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Thursday, Aug. 17

Best Bet: LOOKING AT U KID (2); Best Value: AWESOME BOSS (7)

FIRST: Tainted Angel tallied swift late-pace figure when winning second in a row last time; more to come. Friend of Liberty wheels back in a hurry after being claimed from Sunday’s first race; dangerous if she goes. Courtmewithcarats regressed in last start after pairing up fast-figured efforts in previous two; rebound threat.

SECOND: Looking At U Kid was pace and trip compromised when third in last on Monmouth grass; set for best. Brooklyn Speights is fresh and owns fast numbers but appears to prefer minor awards; you’ve been warned. Saratoga Colonel needed last and sheds the blinkers for return to grass; very interesting.

THIRD: Raagheb is training sharply and has the benefit of the rail with short run into first turn. Sail Ahoy packs potent kick and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Thebigfundamental is speedy and owns swift numbers; if chalk is your game.

FOURTH: Veil Dance notched rapid final fraction when a hard-charging second in last; more to give in third start of form cycle. Crazy About Jazz is speedy, rested and working with a purpose; very dangerous. Queen of Spades has finished second at long odds in last two starts; don’t ignore.

FIFTH: Panama Ed made forward move on the numbers in last; experience is key in field of mostly newcomers. Royal Power failed to deliver on heavy tote support when fourth in debut; must respect. Perfectexpectation compiled tight work tab for first start; stay tuned to the tote.

SIXTH: Grumpelstiltskin is training swiftly and could play out as the quickest of the quick in speed-laden field. Magnifier also is fast from the gate and owns rapid numbers on “A” game. Gorgeous Charli is another that looms a front-end player in contentious dash.

SEVENTH: Awesome Boss owns fast late-pace figures and is training sharply for return to grass; call based on price potential. Rimanisempreforte is riding a forward line on the numbers; very interesting. Initiate is speedy and can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

EIGHTH: Quezon owns swift final fractions and handles the 6 1/2-furlong distance. Court Dancer is fleet-footed and could prove very tough if able to shake clear from other front-runners. Wonderment was freshened after top-figured win on June 18 at Belmont; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Carrera Cat made sustained run when a tough-trip fourth in debut; needs scratches to escape AE list. Queen Courage, also outside body of the race, adds blinkers and cuts back to sprint; very interesting. Centr of the Stage adds blinkers after even fifth in first grass start; must consider. Scatback bested “Stage” by more than two lengths when fourth in debut; must be factored into the mix. Willie U gets the meds after speed and fade last time; price will be tempting.

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