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SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Thursday, Aug. 2

Best bet: ISOTOPE (8)

Best value: SOUPER ECHO (6)

FIRST: Lightning Lilly is training with a purpose for first start since February for crafty barn; primed and ready. Satin Sheets is riding a two-race winning streak; very playable. Bustin Hearts consistently fires big efforts; logical, short-priced player.

SECOND: San Juan Diego regressed in last start after fast-figured third in prior; rebounds. Royal Heist is speedy and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Baker entry: Ready to Escape makes first start since gelded and mate Light the Posse gets Lasix after game placing in debut; potent pairing.

THIRD: Hierarchy has trained sharply since better-than-it-looks fourth in debut; more to give. Piantagrane is firing bullets and logged solid numbers this past winter at Gulfstream; very dangerous. Frontier Market owns four seconds from five starts; fails to get the job done again?

FOURTH: Hard Study owns field’s fastest late-pace and final figures. You’re to Blame could play out as the controlling speed in compact field. Archanova will be aided by return to dirt.

FIFTH: Asian’s Way was a top-figured, front-end winner in last; more to come. Loose also is speedy and has won five of last seven starts. Non Finisce Mai is 1-for-1 at the Spa; price will be tempting.

SIXTH: Souper Echo projects as the main speed with aggressive ride in wide-open turf dash. Jasmine’s Gem should pack amplified kick with cutback to sprint; proceed with caution at short odds on horse that has failed as the favorite in last two starts. Currency Chaos was a clear-cut second behind a runaway winner in last; right in the thick of this. Diva’s Revenge makes grass debut for Linda Rice; must consider.

SEVENTH: Sport wheels back in a hurry after dominant maiden score last week; pairs up. Herecomesyourman has finished second at short prices in last two starts; continues trend? Honey Dont has trained sharply since getting the job done on Belmont grass last month; very playable.

EIGHTH: Isotope made forward move on late-pace and final figures when fourth in last; won on Spa loam last summer. Shimmering Moon has trained strongly since game placing in last; very dangerous. Mizzen Max owns three wins and three seconds from six starts; hard to ignore.

NINTH: Last Promise Kept tallied rapid final fraction when a hard-charging third on Delaware turf last out; ready for prime time. Con Te Partiro was a useful fourth on Arlington grass last time and is 1-for-1 on Spa sod; worth long look. Onthemoonagain gets Lasix in stateside debut for Chad Brown; likely to be an underlay.

10TH: Screen Image was pace-compromised when a late-running second on Delaware grass last time; more to come. Supercommittee owns two seconds and a third from last three starts; prefer minor spoils? Mambo Dancer compiled tight work tab for first start in seven weeks; very interesting. Summer Fling is another that has trained with a purpose for first start since freshener; must be factored into the mix.

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