The other Group 2 on the Wednesday Royal Ascot card is the one-mile Duke of Cambridge Stakes (GII), the name changed from the Windsor Forest Stakes in honor of Prince William, the current Duke of Cambridge. For fillies and mares, four years old and up, a field of 16 is expected to break from the starting gate.
Godolphin and trainer John Gosden send out the favorite in Princess Elizabeth Stakes (GIII) winner Laugh Aloud. The chestnut daughter of Dubawi does make a solid step up in class in this event, but has found a decent place to become a Group 2 winner under jockey James Doyle. She’s never been off the board in five tries at this distance.
Godolphin SNC’s Usherette won this race last year and is back again for trainer Andre Fabre and regular jockey Mickael Barzelona. The Irish-bred daughter of Shamardal hasn’t won in three starts since, but is back to a course she likes and a distance she likes. She’s a closer who likely will get pace to run at, so a repeat win to have her photo taken with the Royal family isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes is the day’s third with a post time of 10:40 a.m. ET.
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 in Kentucky 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 Robinson, Texas, with her longtime beau, Tony. She is the executive director of the 501(c)(3) non-profit horse rescue, The Bridge Sanctuary.