By Margaret Ransom
Closing weekend at Del Mar will be packed with stakes races from start to finish, beginning with the $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes (G3) on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26).
The seventh running of the 1 3/8-mile race on the grass drew a field of 10 fillies and mares, including a pair from East Coast-based trainers, Chad Brown’s Orglandes (the 5-2 favorite) and Graham Motion’s Blame Debbie (the 3-1 second choice).
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Michael Cloonan and Timothy Thornton’s Blame Debbie is a 3-year-old daughter of Blame riding a three-race win streak that includes the 1 ½-mile Dowager Stakes (G3) at Keeneland five weeks ago.
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Wonder Stables’ Orglandes, a lightly raced 4-year-old French-bred filly who won an allowance race at Belmont Park in just her second stateside start. Regular riders Manny Franco (Blame Debbie) and Irad Ortiz, Jr., (Orglandes) also make the trip West.
The top local contenders include Never Be Enough, California Kook and Going to Vegas.
The first race at Del Mar on Thursday goes off at 11 a.m. PT, the Red Carpet post time listed at 1:30 p.m. as the sixth race. Among past winners of the race formerly known as the Beverly Hills Handicap when it was run at Hollywood Park, were Swingtime (twice), Track Robbery, Royal Heroine, Estrapade, Flawlessly (twice), Windsharp, Astra (twice) and Megahertz.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law in Kentucky known as the “Borell Law.”Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time.She lives in Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.