Former Claimer S’marvelous Wins New Orleans Handicap

Longshot and former claimer S’maverlous won for fun in his very first stakes attempt in Saturday’s $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (GII) at Fair Grounds.

The Mike Maker-trained son of Tiz Wonderful, who had earned his living wearing a tag for most of his career, carried jockey Jose Lezcano to victory by two lengths and stopped the clock in 1:50.06 for the nine-furlong fast main track test.

Runner-up Jessica’s Star was disqualified and placed fifth for interference with Majestic Harbor just inside the sixteenth pole, while International star finished another half-length back in third.

International Star, also trained by Maker, officially was awarded second-place honors at odds of 13-1, while fourth-place finisher and 2-1 favorite Eagle was bumped up to third.

Six-year-old S’marverlous was claimed by Maker out of a winning effort for $32,000 at Belmont Park in September. He started several times for Maker before Gata Racing Stables took ownership earlier this year.

At odds of 20-1, S’maverlous paid $42.40, $15.60, and $6.40. International Star was good for $4.20 and $3.20 while Eagle returned $3. The exact was good for $192.80 and the trifecta paid $380.20.

Margaret Ransom
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, 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 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 The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law 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 Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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