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.