Earle Mack, Wachtel Stable, and Brous Stable’s Argentine-bred Take the Stand took the lead from the break and never looked back en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Muniz Memorial Stakes (GIIT) at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 5-year-old son of Not For Sale paid $18, $9.60 and $7 at odds of 8-1 under jockey Edgar Prado. Runner-up World Approval closed out the $93.20 exacta at odds of 3-1 and paid $4.60 and $4, while 6-1 chance Closing Bell, who was another 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up, was good for $5.40. The trifecta returned $362.
Favorite and defending champion Chocolate Ride was fourth and was followed by Potomac River, Roman Approval, Amigo, String King, Blarp and ChangeofCommand. Can’thelpbelieving was scratched.
Take the Stand, a group 3 winner on grass in Argentina, led the Muniz field through splits of :23.54, :47.59 and 1:10.98 for six furlongs, held on to a 3 1/2-length lead past a mile in 1:35.38 and easily turned back the charge from World Approval to stop the clock over a firm turf course in record time of 1:47.80, lowering the mark of 1:48.18 set by Chocolate Ride in the same race a year ago.
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 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.