PREAKNESS PROFILE: EXCESSION

Pimlico
Sunrise at Pimlico. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Talk about a wild card. The Steve Asmussen-trained Excession (30-1 morning line) hasn’t been seen in a race since March14, meaning he’ll enter the Preakness with by far the longest layoff of any runnder.

He did run a big one that day, rallying into second, less than a length behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park. The winner of that race, Nadal, was at the time considered at or near the top of the Bob Baffert class of sophomores.

Why He Could Win

  • Excession (30-1) – owner Calumet Farm/trainer Steve Asmussen/jockey Sheldon Russell
  • Race record: 9: 1-1-3, earnings of $288,612

Ran huge at 82-1 in last start in the G2 Rebel, closing sharply to earn second in the G2 Rebel behind Nadal, who at the time was regarded as perhaps the top of the Bob Baffert barn…

Had excuses in prior graded tries when he was too keyed up early…

Hall of Fame trainer Asmussen knows what it takes to win major races — he’s won the Preakness twice — so his persistence in putting this runner in graded company suggests he sees big-time potential…

His breeding says the distance should be no problem…

Three-year-olds sometimes blossom rather suddenly; maybe this one’s got it figured out…

Why He Could Lose

That big effort in the Rebel was nearly seven months ago, and this one’s been off, partially due to injury, since…

The Grade 1 Preakness is no easy spot to return from a long layoff…

Got a perfect setup in the Rebel when Nadal was pushed to grueling early fractions…

Late-running style puts him at the mercy of the pace up ahead, and while it could be fast, you never know…

Still eligible for a first allowance after nine tries, and his best-ever Beyer fig of 95 — which is 16 points higher than any previous effort of his — still isn’t good enough to win here…

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What They’re Saying About Him

Excession, a colt by Union Rags, has posted seven works since returning to Asmussen’s barn after time off to get an injury fixed. Four of them were at five furlongs, including a bullet move in 1:00 3/5 at Churchill Downs on September 22.

“He needed some time after the Rebel,” Asmussen said of Excession. “He’s been working well recently. His race against Nadal was very impressive. Just a weird year that he’s allowed him to take a break and come back” and still make a Triple Crown race.

Excession, whose first work back was a half-mile move August 16, most recently went a half in 49 4/5 seconds September 28.

Video Past Performances

Excession3/14/2020Rebel S.OP2
2/15/2020Risen Star Div. 2FG8
1/18/2020Lecomte S.FG7

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