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Sports

Steve Matthews’ Belmont selections for Thursday, June 29

Best bet: RECTIFY (7)

Best value: ROMANS PARADISE (5)

FIRST: Super Psyche drops and owns fast figures on best efforts; five tight works since last start seals the deal. Augie’s Coming has finished second as the favorite in last two starts; continues trend? Lowen Warrior ships in from Delaware after ultra-game placing in last.

SECOND: Grand Banks makes peak start of form cycle after taking backward step in last start; rebounds today. Emiliana’s Hope makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; worth long look at long price. Grande Beso has finished third in last three starts; lacks will to win?

THIRD: Fortune Street outworked 63 rivals in half-mile drill June 15; best guess in juvenile crapshoot. History Supreme cost $425k as a yearling; could be the goods. Pacific Gale debuts for capable first-out barn (John Kimmel); follow the money.

FOURTH: The Orphan Miracle compiled purposeful work tab for first start since December; call in weak maiden field. Fullback Foye was bested by two next-out winners when third in last start; very playable. Nut Nut has finished second in last two starts; prefers minor awards?

FIFTH: Romans Paradise logs fast late-pace figures on best efforts and is training consistently for first start since October; rates close call. Bookew Bucks gets favorable cutback to 6 furlongs and makes third start since sixth-month layoff; set for breakthrough. Portando is 1-for-1 on Belmont sod and now makes first start since claimed by Linda Rice; right in the thick of this.

SIXTH: My First Gal tallied better-than-it-looks final fraction in lone grass start last summer; throw deep in wide-open field. Pure Gemmz was a game second this course and distance last out; logical, short-priced player. Holy Gold is speedy and drops; worth long look at long price.

SEVENTH: Rectify owns a versatile running style and is working sharply for first start in two months. Pop the Hood visually and numerically impressed when winning last start; very dangerous. Toga Challenger owns two wins and two seconds in four starts; must be factored into the mix.

EIGHTH: Truth was done in by pressured pace and seven-month layoff when weakening to sixth in last; duly tightened today. Awesome Song has trained sharply since last start but has finished second four times from 11 tries; vulnerable favorite? Vagabond has hit the board in five of six starts; be no surprise.

NINTH: Powerful Instinct turns back to more manageable distance and should pack enhanced late wallop. River Knight is speedy and can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. No Texting also is fleet-footed but repeatedly fails at short odds. Mobridge logged all four career wins on Belmont grass; must be considered.

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