After the fireworks of last weekend, when Mike Stidham sent out the winners of four races, including the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar and the listed Duchess Stakes at Woodbine, Stidham heads into this weekend with a decidedly more subdued approach.
The headline act of the whole weekend is lovely Liz Pendens, who guns for her own Grade III glory at Woodbine in the Royal North Stakes – a six furlong sprint worth a tidy $150,000. Ten are scheduled to go to post, and jockey Emma-Janyne Wilson takes the mount. Liz has been one of Stidham’s toughest and most honest performers over the past two seasons, and after a couple of honorable runs in stake races in her past two racecourse appearances, she’s overdue a bit of luck.
Of Stidham’s other runners, today, Local One Thirty runs at Del Mar, while Hubbala Hubbala is Stidham’s sole representative at the Chicago track.
Staying at Arlington tomorrow, Stidham runs three: Betterthandiamonds, Tour Again and St James Park. On Sunday, it’s the turn of E.M. Maximus and Bobblehead.
A quick mention must be made about Stidham’s lofty position near the head of the trainer’s table. He sits at number 32 on the chart, with 51 winners and $2,102,940 in earnings. In 2012, Stidham finished 38th in the country – and with just over five months left of the season, fingers are crossed in the Stidham camp that the great year he has thus far enjoyed will continue for a good time yet.