Majestic Harbor Tops New Orleans Handicap

Majestic Harbor (inside) holds on to win the Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 20.

Majestic Harbor (inside) holds on determinedly to win the Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 20.

Gallant Stable’s Mineshaft Handicap (GIII) winner Majestic Harbor will attempt to earn his second consecutive graded stakes victory in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (GII). 

The eight-year-old son of Rockport Harbor won his last race in impressive wire-to-wire fashion and looks to be the lone legitimate frontrunner in the field of 10 older handicap runners. Corey Lanerie will be back aboard for trainer Paul McGee and the pair will break from post position four in the nine-furlong main track test.

Mineshaft runner-up Eagle breaks from the outermost post position and is looking to turn the tables on Majestic Harbor after their last meeting. The son of Candy Ride was lightly raced last year, but seems to be strong and sound enough for a 2016 campaign, though he’s still looking for his first win of the year in two attempts. The Neil Howard trainee will be stretching out to nine furlongs for the first time, but has the pedigree to indicate the distance shouldn’t be too much of a concern, and will benefit from having reigning Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano in the irons, something that could only help his chances.

Last year’s Louisiana Derby winner International Star is back on his favorite track in his third start of the year. He won the Louisiana Handicap before finishing fourth in the Mineshaft last out, but has been training extremely well in New Orleans for this race. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey colt suffered a hairline fracture of the knee and an ankle chip days before last year’s Kentucky Derby, but was given the proper time off after surgery and looks prime for a rebound back to top form.


The seventh race New Orleans Handicap has been scheduled to leave the gate at 4:23 p.m. EDT.

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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