Excelling's front-running show
The best from the trials held on Tuesday morning
A two-time winner from just five starts, Excelling is on the way to living up to his name.
And as if to remind the racing public of his prowess, the five-year-old put in a tip-top show at the trials on Tuesday morning.
Taken out by apprentice R Iskandar, who is on the mend after being injured in a race fall last season, Excelling was all-conquering in the third trial of the morning.
Jumping away cleanly from an outside chute, he quickly establish himself as the front runner, challenging all rivals to catch him if they could.
They couldn't and when the eight-horse field cleared the first turn on the far side, Iskandar had urged his mount to a comfortable two-length lead.
Excelling was clearly in his element. The chasing pack comprised Pindus, the mount of T Krisna, Dreamweaver (Marc Lerner) and Baffert (Michael Rodd).
My Dreamliner, who charged home to take second spot, was lengths off the lead and seemingly on snooze control.
Into the home stretch and Excelling, who was still travelling well, had put three lengths between himself and the rest. And there was no let-up in his galloping action.
With just two hundred metres to travel, Iskandar had his mount on a snug hold and, as the rest seemed to be firing blanks, Benny Woodworth picked up the gauntlet and gave chase.
Alas, it was a case of too little too late.
Although the charge home was full of merit, Excelling had already put the trial to bed.
A winner by 3½ lengths, he clocked the morning's fastest time of 60.66sec.
Like he did at the trials, Excelling scored a pillar-to-post win at his last outing in early November.
Ridden by Vlad Duric, he beat Gold Star by ½ length in that Class 3 affair.
It more than made up for the disappointment for finishing second to Lim's Craft just a month earlier when sent off as $25 second pick.
Excelling is far from the finished product. Sparingly raced last season, he could be chasing the big money purses up for grabs this racing year.
The same goes for My Dreamliner.
One of the "finds" of the season just concluded, this four-year-old could have a stellar 2020.
He has already cashed in more than $140,000 from just six starts and the bank isn't about to close.
When My Dreamliner next goes to the races, he will be chasing a hat-trick of wins and it will take an adventurous punter to bet against the KY Young-trained galloper getting that third win in a row.