Fighter Squadron’s victory yesterday ensures that Mike Stidham is heading into another busy weekend with all guns-abalzing.
Fighter Squadron, under jockey James Graham, didn’t get off to the best of starts in the claimer at Arlington yesterday. After getting brushed leaving the gates, he was angled to the inner mid-pack. And despite vigorous handing around the home turn, he didn’t find his stride until the final furlong. But once he found an even keel, Fighter Squadron, owned by Barry Golden, gunned away from his rivals to win by a yawning three and a half lengths.
This bodes well for a full weekend of action for the Stidham barn.
On Saturday, Jessica’s Star aims to further enhance his burgeoning reputation when he lines up in the Grade III Iowa Derby at Prairies Meadows – a $250,000 race for three-year-olds. Nine are scheduled to go to post, and jockey David Mello takes the mount. Jessica’s Star is an early morning line 6/1 shot, and his grizzled victory last time out in the Prairie Mile Stakes proved him to be a horse rapidly on the up.
In the very next race, Ground Transport lines up in the Grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Stakes – a $300,000 race for three-year-olds and up. Eight are scheduled to go to post, and again, jockey David Mello is in the saddle. Ground Transport has been a revelation this season, and despite a little blip in the hotly contested Brooklyn Invitational Stakes last time out, Ground Transport is a 4/1 chance to regain the winning thread.
Here’s a look at Stidham’s Arlington runners this weekend: today, Gossip Mill, tomorrow is the turn of Gumdrop and La Bruna Forte, and on Sunday, Sanculpa and Sapphire Breeze both line up.
Check back in again early next week for a recap of the weekend action.