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The outcomes were eerily similar in both resume in result.

The winners graduated from the Excelsior ranks, did their damage from off-the-pace and left town 5-for-5 to begin their careers.

The opening ($75,112) event saw favored Serious Major (Scott Zeron, $4.70)-from post position No. 2-moved from third down the backside. He rolled past Chip Walther (Marcus Miller) down the backside, then widened to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:56.2.

Willie Joe Hill (Pat Lachance) was perched second-over as the second choice, but never came close. He did hold second, with Americanfirewater (Jim Marohn Jr.) a third-over third.

For Serious Major, an Art Major colt making his sire stakes debut, it was his third win for Chris Ryder, who now trains the Emerald Highlands Farm homebred. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $80.

"When the sent him to me, I couldn't guarantee he'd stay unbeaten," Ryder said. "He had proven himself (in the Excelsior), so there was no reason not to try him here.

"He's not fast, but he tries."

Thursday's second ($76,512) division saw another one from the Excelsior finishing school do good work.

Eight-baller Funknwaffles (Joe Bongiorno, $10.80) left for a tuck sixth, then patrolled from third-over. He was actually gapping the outer tier before unleashing a furious wide rally in and out of the final turn.

Funknwaffles, fifth turning for home, whipped a pocketed What's Goin' On (Mark MacDonald) by two lengths in 1:55.4. Very Special Agent (Zeron) was third, while 1-2 choice Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley) could not sustain an uncovered bid and was a non-threatening fifth.

For Funknwaffles, a son of American Ideal owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by John Butenscheon, it was his second NYSS after a trio versus The exacta paid $182, with the triple returning $606.

"He was very good," Bongiorno said. "He did it wrapped up."

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