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Steve Matthews’ Aqueduct selections for Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017

Best bet: BUTCH WALKER (3)

Best value: HOUSE OF FRIENDS (7)

FIRST: Gasconade gained short-lived lead in the stretch when fourth in last at Woodbine; more to give. Storm the Shore makes first start since moving to David Jacobson stable; breakthrough expected. Enduring Warrior logged fast-figured seconds in two most recent starts; very dangerous.

SECOND: Ranger Lady regressed in last after fast-figured, front-end score in prior; rebounds today. Daring Prospect looms the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Arch Or Nothing should pack amplified late kick with cutback to sprint.

THIRD: Butch Walker logged willing score in debut and has trained sharply in the interim. Mabrouk owns speed and could play out as the controlling front-runner in small field. Always a Suspect is riding a two-race winning streak; logical, short-priced player.

FOURTH: Chosen One Elijah was a fast-figured second in last; more to give. Altesino is speedy and owns fast numbers but failed to get it done when 55 cents on the dollar last time. Light the Vow should possess intensified wallop with turn to 6 furlongs.

FIFTH: Drawing Away Stable entry: Kenyan failed to fire after hitting gate at the break late time and mate Bustin It owns speed and swift numbers; potent pairing. Legend Keeper notched three tight works since even fourth in last start; forward move predicted. The Schwam owns competitive numbers on best efforts.

SIXTH: Milkyyourway arrives from Finger Lakes after winning two in a row; ready for prime time. Talkn Til Midnight will prove very dangerous if able to transfer strong late kick on grass to dirt; very playable. Fire Key is fleet-footed and exits game placings in last two starts; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: House of Friends is riding a forward line on the numbers and should be sitting on breakthrough effort at fat ticket. Blameiton Brooklyn was a fast-figured, front-running winner in last; very dangerous. Playthatfunnymusic also was a determined maiden winner in last; right in the thick of this.

EIGHTH: Giantinthemoonlite is speedy, rested and training strongly; swiftest of the swift with aggressive ride. John’s Island overcame soft flow when a determined winner in last; very dangerous. Celtic Chaos makes peak start of form cycle; worth long look. True Bet’s speed gives him a puncher’s chance.

NINTH: Melodramatic Miss makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; call in weak nightcap. Champagne Therapy was a strong, front-running third in last; very playable. Chocolate Smoothie makes first start since claimed by David Jacobson; dangerous. Katie Ice logged two seconds and a third in last three starts; must consider.

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