Stellaris looks to be the shining star of a relatively quiet few days of action for the Mike Stidham stable this weekend when she aims to leave a mark much longer than a lipstick stain on the Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington on Saturday.
One of nine horses due to line up in the Grade III event–a $150,000 race run over one and one eighth miles–Stellaris has the able assistance of jockey James Graham in the saddle. Stellaris is the 3-1 morning line second favorite in the race as she seeks retribution for her honorable second place finish last time out in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks. But her task is far from straightforward – trainer Wayne Catalano sends out one of his brightest stable performers in the shape of Aurelia’s Belle, a triple grade III winner already this season.
But Stellaris isn’t the only Stidham filly looking to enhance her paddock value this weekend. Making the trip to Kentucky Downs for the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes–a race worth a whopping $200,000 over six and one half furlongs–is none other than lovely Liz Pendens, one of Stidham’s grizzliest female warriors. Twelve go to post and jockey Robbie Albarado has the mount on lovely Liz.
Elsewhere over the weekend, Casting and Mi Fiori run at Arlington tomorrow. On Saturday, South Beach Dancer runs on the Pucker Up Stakes under-card at the Chicago track, while Hubbala Hubbala is Stidham’s sole representative there Sunday.
As for today, what a performance I Dazzle produced to get back into the winning groove under jockey James Graham. Last for the first half of the race, I Dazzle brushed off interference at the top of the stretch as though swatting flies before coasting home a full three-and-three-quarter lengths victorious over her rivals for owners The Farm on 4 LLC, Gasaway, Brent and Stidham.
Check back in again early next week for a round-up of the weekend action.