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Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, June 16


Best Bet: SPLENDID GOLD (7);

Best Value: LAST RESORT (8)

FIRST: Street Lord drops and cuts back to sprint after being done in by hot fractions last time. Geaux Mets logged four sharp works for first start in 46 days; dangerous. Bug Juice could take this if pace meltdown comes to pass.

SECOND: Party Mint Star displayed late interest in debut and should have more to give with race under belt. Grand Banks should improve for potent second-out stable; worth long look. Leah’s Dream set pressured fractions in same race as top selection; very dangerous.

THIRD: Causeway Cutie is riding a forward line on the numbers; call in weak maiden field. Egyptian Rose is favorably posted outside; must consider. Tizthefastlane makes first start with maiden-claiming tag after being idle for 452 days; mixed message.

FOURTH: Nile Princess was a tough-trip third in last; more to give in second start since five-month absence. Long Road was a front-running maiden winner in last at Gulfstream; very playable. Momma Giovanna compiled eye-catching work slate for first start in 14 months; worth long look.

FIFTH: Cuckoo’s Saloon regressed in last after ultra-game placing in previous start; rebounds today. Lead by Example tallied better-than-it-appears late-pace fig in turf debut last fall; very playable. Ro Bear adds blinkers and should improve in second start since eight-month layoff. Two Down One to Go can prove very tough on an uncontested lead.

SIXTH: Agawa was pace and trip compromised in last at Pimlico and owns fast back numbers. Electro Peg is fresh and 1-for-1 on Belmont sod; big-time threat. Novique moves to grass and is from a dam that’s produced a turf winner; very interesting.

SEVENTH: Splendid Gold fired sharp half-mile breeze on June 8 and was a dominant winner off the bench this past February; primed and ready. Familyofroses holds razor-sharp current condition and makes first start since claimed by capable Neal Terracciano stable. Saturday Bliss owns speed and fast figs but has been sidelined for more than two years; must take the good with the bad.

EIGHTH: Last Resort tallied solid final fraction when a hard-charging winner in first start on Belmont turf; more to come. Sympathy has failed as the favorite in all three stateside starts; you’ve been warned. Dea logged three seconds and two thirds in last five starts; prefers lesser spoils?

NINTH: True Charm is speedy and could capitalize on soft flow in wide-open nightcap. Pira adds blinkers and gets favorable surface switch; improvement predicted. Ginned Up was a fast-figured second on dirt last time and owns solid turf numbers, as well. Wake Up Smiling owns two seconds and a third in three starts; logical, short-priced player.

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