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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Thursday, Aug. 24

Best bet: LIDO (9)

Best value: DOT MATRIX (3)

FIRST: Swansea Mile bested nine rivals when a game winner in first start over Spa jumps; pairs up. Choral Society is 2-for-2 over the Saratoga hurdles; must respect. Portrade is speedy and needed last; don’t ignore.

SECOND: Warrior’s Silver gets Lasix after non-stressful fifth in debut; forward move predicted. La Contessa moves to dirt and drops to maiden claimer after weakening to finish fifth in debut; demand value. Yes I Dance is firing bullets at Penn National for first start for Linda Rice; very interesting.

THIRD: Dot Matrix gets class relief and could capitalize on soft lead in big field. Strike Midnight also drops and owns fast late-pace and final figures on best efforts; very playable. Twenty Four Seven is 1-for-1 on Spa sod and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the stretch.

FOURTH: The Caretaker has been idle since January but is training with a purpose for return; rates close call. Bourbon Empire logged three tight works for first start since gelded; primed for career best. Heavy Meddle is speedy and riding a forward line on the numbers; very dangerous.

FIFTH: Merilore was pace- and position-compromised when an ultragame second in last; more to give. Baronet displayed improved speed in last and owns fast back figures; price will be tempting. Chow Fun could be the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious.

SIXTH: Hansen’s Help makes third start since seven-month layoff and could be sitting on career best in weak field. Iwishirish owns three seconds and a third from last four starts; always a runner-up? Desert Affair owns fast figures but is another that appears to prefer minor awards; you’ve been warned.

SEVENTH: Khaleesi Kat owns fast late-pace figures and returns to claiming ranks today; rates call in wide-open race. Bareeqa owns a win and a third in two starts on Saratoga grass; dangerous. Forever for Always makes third start since two-month absence; price will be tempting.

EIGHTH: Celtic Chaos capitalized on sizzling splits to win last but could receive same setup today; gets close nod. Bustin It busts it from the gate and will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Brimstone also is quick from the blocks and is a serious, front-end threat on best.

NINTH: Lido overcame traffic trouble to win last and has trained sharply in the interim; more in the tank. Danceland made last-to-first rally to win first start on Spa turf; very playable. Chubby Star displayed improved speed when a fast-figured fourth in last; must consider. Fizzy Friday is riding a forward line on the numbers and will offer juicy price; worth long look.

10TH: Fun Prospect tallied solid final fraction in lone grass start and has trained sharply in the interim. Phone Funky Munky was a strong third in debut; dangerous. Can’tweallgetalong was an even fifth in same last race as “Munky”; must consider. Now a Factor debuts for Mike Maker; could be the goods.

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