Mike Stidham sends a four-pronged attack on major stakes this weekend, with runners at four different tracks in two different countries.
First up is Istanford, who on Saturday lines up in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar – a $200,000 race for three-year-old fillies over a mile. As expected for a race of this nature, Istanford won’t have it easy – 12 are expected to go to post, including a number of proven graded stake performers. Istanford, who has already this seasons claimed the Grade III Arlington Classic, will be ridden by Raphael Bejarano.
Over at Arlington on the same day, Stellaris takes in the Grade III Arlington Oaks – a $150,000 race for three-year-old fillies. Stellaris, who finished second in the Northbound Pride Oaks last time out, faces a field of 10, including likely favorite Aurelia’s Belle. Jockey James Graham takes the mount on Stidham’s runner.
Not to be left out in the cold on Saturday, Jessica’s Star is looking to make more headlines over at Thistledown in the Grade III Ohio Derby – a $300,000 race for three-year-olds. Jessica’s Star is on something of a roll, having won his last three races, including the Grade III Iowa Derby last time out. And his rich vein of form means that he’ll likely go off one of the favorites in the 12 runner field. Jockey David Mello takes the mount.
On Sunday, Pirate’s Trove makes the long trip up to Woodbine, Canada to compete in the Duchess Stakes – a $125,000 race for three-year-old fillies. Pirate’s Trove faces a field of nine, and she’s out to maintain her 100% record, having won impressively on her racecourse debut last time out. jockey Florent Geroux takes the mount.
Besides his stakes competitors, Stidham send out a veritable army of runners this weekend.
Today, Pioneer Charlie runs at Del Mar, while Redhot Chillypepper represents the stable at Arlington.
On Saturday, Adellusion and Fighter Squadron line up at Del Mar. Over at Arlington, it’s the turn of Helen Kathleen, Voluptuous and Partynslowmotion.
On Sunday at Arlington, Stidham fields a triple-header of runners comprising Ike Walker, Locker Room Guy and Tour Again, while at Del Mar, Sapphire Breeze is the stable’s lone representative.
Check back in again next week for a round-up of all the weekend action.