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Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Wednesday, Aug. 3


Best Bet: MONSTER MASH (6)


FIRST: Top Striker was prepped on the Laurel flat last time; return to jumps is key. Special Skills could capitalize on unchallenged lead. Dr. Skip was a solid third in last.

SECOND: Smart Alex drops and is training consistently for first start in nearly a year. Littlemissbusiness was a clear-cut second in last; logical, short-priced player. Shoppingforsilver is fresh and owns competitive numbers on best efforts.

THIRD: Gianna’s Dream logged three tight works since determined win in last at Churchill Downs; pairs up. Stones of Navarone is speedy and training sharply for first start since January; dangerous. Hot Dudette (speed and fast figs) and Scarlet Goddess (game second in last) are an uncoupled duo from Gary Gullo barn; neither would be a surprise.

FOURTH: Moonshine Cate owns a running style that should be aided by added ground. Alabama Bound has finished second in last two starts; continues trend? Out of Nowhere exits fast-figured placing; right in the thick of this.

FIFTH: Chasintheblues gets favorable cutback to sprint and owns swift numbers on “A” game. Show Bound moves to grass after dominant maiden victory in last; could easily transfer razor-sharp form. Pine Ridge Forest could play out as the main speed if primed for first start since last Halloween; paddock appraisal suggested.

SIXTH: Monster Mash was a clear-cut winner in last at Finger Lakes and logged career-best figure when a winner at the Spa last summer; history repeats. Royal Saint was a determined winner in last and could secure stalker’s seat in bulky field. Whateveryouwant is speedy, rested and drops; very dangerous. Fabulous Kid owns swift back numbers; must consider. Saratoga Wildcat dons blinkers and could play out as the quickest of the quick in contentious dash.

SEVENTH: Orient Harbor compiled four tight works since hard-charging fourth last time; more to give. Britannia Penny was a front-running winner in last and could play out as the controlling speed once again. Imflatoutsweet makes first start since moving to Christophe Clement barn; don’t overlook.

EIGHTH: Momameamaria exits wire-to-wire score in last and notched three tight works in the interim; more to come. Promise Me Silver also was a front-end winner in last and ships in for dangerous Bret Calhoun barn; very playable. Wavell Avenue, from Chad Brown stable, delivers swift efforts with machine-like consistency; must respect.

NINTH: Sugar Mags tallied swift late-pace figure when a surging winner in last; more to give. Loon River owns three seconds in four starts on Spa sod; price could be generous. Singsong, an coupled barn mate (John Kimmel) of Loon River, is a front-end threat on best efforts.

TENTH: Southern Gentleman is rested, pulls weight from the field and could play out as the speed of the speed in weak nightcap. Buckwellspent returns to dirt after subpar effort on turf last time; worth long look. Peculiar Sensation has finished third in all three starts; history repeats? Here Comes R J made a middle move and flattened when favored in last; must be factored into the mix.

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