Small but select would be the apt description of Mike Stidham’s platoon of runners this weekend, what with only three strings to his bow over the next few days, two of which point towards some tasty stake races.
On Sunday, Pirate’s Trove is headed back to Woodbine–the glorious scene of two of her three career wins to date–for the $200,000 Bessarabian Stakes – a Grade II contest run over seven furlongs. Stidham’s runner faces another 11 competitors, including the much-decorated Disco Barbie, the early morning-line favorite. Nevertheless, Pirate’s Trove is herself a well-fancied 6-1 shot.
Pirate’s Trove has to shrug off the disappointment of her last run, when she finished down the field in a hotly contested Grade II at Keeneland – a run that should be forgiven in light of having had only three career runs prior. This lightly raced three-year-old daughter of Speighstown again has the support of jockey Florent Geroux in the saddle.
A day earlier, stable stalwart Ground Transport lines up against 12 other rivals in the Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park – a $100,000 race over one and one eighth miles. Ground Transport has been a valiant servant throughout the year for the Stidham stable, and a fine second last time out in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes proves that he’s still in great heart. Young Trevor McCarthy takes the mount.
Today, it’s the turn of Go Doug Go, who is gunning for a Hawthorne triple-header, to fly the Stidham flag.
Check back in again next week for a round-up of the weekend action.