Now a mere two victories away from a momentous career haul of 1,500 wins, Mike Stidham is poised with bated breath should the milestone arrive this weekend from any of his four runners at Keeneland – and as usual, his girls are leading the dance.
Let’s first turn our attention to Toutsie Rules, who couldn’t have made a more favorable first impression when trouncing the opposition on her racecourse debut.
Owned by a partnership comprising Hilary Pridham, Marette Farrell, Angela Ellis and Haynes Stables, the three-year-old daughter of Roman Ruler was sent straight into the lead on the inside by jockey James Graham. Casual Cocktail, the eventual runner-up, proved a nagging headache for Stidham’s runner – until the final furlong that is, where Toutsie Rules brushed her off as one would swat a fly. Toutsie Rules looks one to keep on the right side of this winter.
Now for the weekend ahead, and the headline performer is Pirate’s Trove – another of Stidham’s gifted girlies. One of 13 to line up in the Grade II Lexus Raven Run Stakes worth a cool quarter of a million, Pirate’s Trove has an immaculate reputation to maintain: three runs, three wins, including a couple of listed wins up at Woodbine. This is by far her toughest challenge to date, however, but she has the able assistance of jockey Florent Geroux in the saddle.
Holiday Touch runs on the Keeneland undercard tomorrow, while on Sunday, it’s the turn of Gumdrop and Zig Zag.
Will the Stidometer hit 1500 this weekend? Check back in again Monday to find out.