How to bet the 2024 Excelsior Stakes

March 29th, 2024

A total of eight horses will go 1 1/8 miles on the Aqueduct dirt in the Saturday feature, the $150,000 Excelsior S. The race lacks a lot of class in total, but this is a pretty hard knocking cast and I will give top billing to a course specialist. 

Excelsior Wagers

  • 50-cent superfecta 8 with 3 with all with all ($15)
  • 50-cent superfecta 8 with all with 3 with all ($15)
  • 50-cent superfecta 8 with all with all with 3 ($15)

#8 Curbstone has been first or second in six of seven starts on the dirt since joining the Tom Morley shedrow and had a nice prep victory in a one-turn allowance race at a mile in his seasonal debut. By Street Sense, the five-year-old sports a nifty 5-4-1-0 mark on the oval, and he is also 3-for-6 at the trip, so this contest is right in his wheelhouse. 

The homebred rallied to win from well off the pace in his latest outing, and the dark bay has won while forwardly placed in the past, as well, and I feel that the versatility will give pilot Eric Cancel a lot of options from the outside post going into the first turn. He faces a solid cast in hopes of annexing his initial stakes race, but his best performance is good enough to beat the group while making his second run since July. I like him a good measure at an expected fair price and will be aggressive with him in the multi-race plays.

While I could make a case for numerous contenders for the vertical exotics, I will focus on #3 Kuchar for value. The five-year-old son of Uncle Mo displayed some class in his three-year-old campaign, and then tailed off in 2023, but the bay has run well in a pair of tries off the layoff since coming to the barn of Rudy Rodriguez. The 2022 American Derby and Oaklawn S. runner-up has early presence and I expect him to tuck in just behind a trio of horses on the backside with first run turning for home. Manny Franco taking the reins is a good thing, and the exotics player comes in off of a swift half-mile drill as of late, as well. The price will be good.