Race Preview: Vernon Downs Excelsior Series for 3YO Colts 2nd Division Thursday June 27, 2013

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Eb Netr

June 26th, 2013

There are 5 races in the Excelsior Series on Thursday - races 1, 5, 7, 8 and 12.

The NY Sire Stakes take place in races 4, 6 and 7 on Thursday's card also.

The 5th race 2nd division contest in the Excelsior may come down to whether the five early speed horses can hold up against the three closers. There's a LOT of early speed in this race.

You can expect Fern Pacquet to gun Major Blue Coat to the lead from the inside post, but the son of Art Major won't be unchallenged.

Bettorsluckystreak, my choice for the win, has Jim Morrill driving for Gary Messenger. Morrill has a win and a place with this horse and the win was at Vernon in last year's Excelsior series, if you'll remember. Whether he can do it again at 3 is the question. By the way, he's the only one of the 8 that HAS won at Vernon.

Dealmaker, the 5-2 Morning Line favorite, has struggled in his last races and seems to be in over his head. He does have a driver change to Mike Simons, who drove him to two wins back in May. However, I think that, unless he suddenly takes to the Vernon oval, he's less likely to shine here than at Harrah's or Pocono. That doesn't mean he won't be in the money at the finish though.

I'm The Real Major with Chris Lems looks like the main threat to Bettorsluckystreak. He placed here in last year's Excelsior series and has been improving all season this year, winning races for winners of 2 but not more than 4 at Saratoga. If he gets loose on the lead, it could be all she wrote, unless a hard closer reels him in.

We Never Get a Colt can close, but will have to do it from the far outside post, which is very difficult at Vernon. Ideal Rowan is also a horse that can close some, and has Tim Tetrick to help in the bike, but the 7 post won't help him. He has been known to leave on occasion, which would put him into a much better position to close in the stretch, but he'll have to be awfully slippy to do it in this company.

Pull The Ripcord and Stoney'sStormaway are moving way up in class here. Strange things do happen in stakes races for young horses, but I think it would take more than one misstep on the part of the other contenders to pave the way for a victory for either one of these two.

You won't want to miss this chapter in the Excelsior Series or the NY Sire Stakes races either. Safe trips and good racing luck to all the drivers and horses on tonight's card. Remember to watch and wager on Bet America, where Vernon is a bonus track so you get cash rewards for playing it here.