Valid (yellow silks) nearly goes down in the 2016 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
The nine-furlong Skip Away Stakes (GIII), named for 1998’s Horse of the Year, drew a compact but talented field of six older handicap runners who will race the nine furlongs in search of the winner’s share of the $150,000 purse.
Millionaire Valid is coming off of a strange trip in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII) in which he was bumped hard at the top of the stretch while making his move and lost all action, causing a lot of people to wonder if he’d been hurt. No worse for wear and the victim of what amounts to bad racing luck, he’s back and looking to regain the form he’s shown in the past.
If horses had middle names, it’d be a good bet that Valid’s would be “Consistent,” as the gelded son of Medaglia d’Oro has been exactly that with his career line of 36-11-9-7. Now six years old, he’s faced some of the best competition in his division and clearly has held his own, becoming an older handicap fan favorite. A confirmed stalker, he also has some early speed ability and can adjust his style based on who wants to go to the lead in front of him and can easily take the lead if nobody else wants it.
Savoy Stomp makes his first attempt at nine furlongs but because he’s under the care of trainer Todd Pletcher one can assume he’d not be part of the field unless there was a reasonable belief he could win. He’s also a son of Medaglia d’Oro, but has mostly raced against allowance company. This may be a good spot for him to break out and join the ranks of the upper level older horse division.
The fifth race Skip Away stakes is set to leave the gate at 1:50 p.m. EDT.
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.