Excelsior Stakes 2014 Contenders & Odds

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes comes our way this Saturday, March 22 from Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. A purse of $150,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Aqueduct's main track.

A solid field of seven older entries have been confirmed for the Excelsior Stakes - race 8 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 4:43 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

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2014 Excelsior Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Romansh - Thomas Albertini trained colt is coming off a very disappointing last of eleven in the uber-competitive Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 9 after a career best result - a 9 /4 length win with a 110 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 2. This after failing to place in his first two graded stakes tries - a sixth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx in September and an OK fifth in the Grade 1 Travers in August. Romansh has three wins and a third place finish in eight career starts and will be looking to bounce back after an ugly effort last time out. He will have Jose Ortiz aboard from the outside post as the 2-5 morning line favorite and is a coupled entry along with...

Long River - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt enters the Excelsior on a three race win streak - the last two have been minor stakes action on this track. Last time out it was the Evening Attire Stakes January 18 after the Time for a Change Stakes December 1. His last graded stakes action came in February 2013 - an eighth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes which followed a fourth in the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes in January 2013. Long River has four wins and two second place finishes in nine career starts and enters this weekend in the best form of his career. Irad Ortiz will be in the saddle from the rail.

Mr Palmer - legendary trainer Bill Mott sends out Mr Palmer who has three wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here February 2 after a pair of seconds in similar races on this track this past winter. He has three graded stakes starts in his career - a fifth in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap here in November, a seventh in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby in October and a fourth in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April 2013. Mr Palmer is 5-1 on the morning line and will have Manuel Franco aboard from post 2.

Excelsior Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Percussion - Todd Pletcher pupil ran 11 straight Allowance Optional Claiming races and had two straight wins both at Aqueduct in March and April. He stepped up and finished a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20 and followed that with his first ever stakes score - the minor Albert the Great Stakes in May over Fast Falcon and Birdrun. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap in June but slipped to a fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban in July. He enters the Excelsior having taken part in six straight minor stakes races with two seconds (both coming this year on this track), two thirds and two fourth place finishes. Christopher DeCarlo gets the call from gate 4 at 6-1 odds.

Excelsior Stakes betting at Aqueduct Racetrack with OffTrackBetting.com

Dawly - Rudy Rodriguez trained gelding has 29 career starts with eight wins, 10 seconds and four third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut Saturday in the best form of his career - four wins, nine seconds and two third place finishes in his last 15 starts including four wins in his last five starts - all coming on this track. He makes the huge step up in competition Saturday in the best form of his career. Angel Arroyo has the mount as Dawly leaves from post 5 at 8-1 odds.

Praetereo - had an Allowance Optional Claiming score here November 8 and followed that with a pair of thirds - both in minor stakes action also on this track - the Lord of the Night Stakes December 29 and the Spooky Mulder Stakes two weeks earlier. This after another third in the minor I'm a Banker Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a second in the Duck Dance Stakes October 6. Praetereo has two starts so far in 2014 - a sixth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Laurel Park March 14 and a fifth in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes here February 1. He has 32 career starts with just five wins, three seconds and nine third place finishes and enters this weekend in less-than-spectacular form. Cornelio Velasquez will be in the reins from the 3-hole Saturday at 20-1 odds.

Don Dulce - had three straight runner-up finishes in minor stakes action on New York tracks this past winter and is coming off a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 30 - a result that followed a fifth in the minor Evening Attire Stakes also on this track January 18. He has one graded stakes result in his 32 career starts - an eighth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap April 14, 2012. Don Dulce has seven wins in his 32 starts including two Allowance Optional Claiming races last summer. Rajiv Maragh will be aboard the longest shot in the field (20-1) from gate 6.

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