Gallant Stables' Majestic Harbor is the 116-pound high weight and was made the 7-2 morning line favorite in a competitive field of nine older horses for the 78th running of the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) May 23 at Churchill Downs, but it remains unclear if the 7-year-old will start in the 1 1/2-mile marathon on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
"I'm still not 100% sure that we'll run, but we entered him," said trainer Paul McGee, who also has the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational (gr. II), a 1 1/2-mile dirt race on the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard, under consideration. "I've got to get with the owners. We may still opt to run in the Brooklyn. I haven't consulted with the owners just yet, so that's how it stands."
Last year, Majestic Harbor sprang a 14-1 upset in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I) when under the care of West Coast trainer Sean McCarthy. He is coming into his next start off a pair of April victories in off-the-turf allowance races at Keeneland and Churchill.
Were he to run in the Louisville 'Cap, the Rockport Harbor runner would depart post 5 under jockey Corey Lanerie.
Charles Fipke's 5-year-old Golden Soul has shown up in a dozen graded stakes races throughout his career but has yet to find success at such a level. Two years ago, the son of Perfect Soul was runner-up to Orb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. Golden Soul is two-for-two on the Matt Winn Turf Course and trainer Dallas Stewart, who won this race three years in a row with Silverfoot (2004-06), says that his affinity for the Churchill turf gives the horse a good advantage.
"He likes the track, and the race is at a mile-and-a-half distance," Stewart said. "We think he's going to like it."
Stewart went on to say that Golden Soul was a horse that he had to be patient with—much like he was with Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Tale of Verve.
"You just have to take your time with him," Stewart said. "He's doing real well, I'm happy with him. His works have been good."
Golden Soul drew post 8 and will be ridden by Robby Albarado under a 115-pound assignment. He is 4-1 on the morning line.
Others of interest in the Louisville Handicap include multiple graded stakes-placed stakes winner Patrioticandproud (9-2), who will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan from the outside while carrying 116, and allowance winner Xtra Luck (4-1), who has Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons from the 7 hole with an impost of 114.
The race goes as the eighth on a 10-race card, with an approximate post time of 4:18 p.m. ET.