The colored beads have been fished out of the Stidham closet and the Mardi Gras costumes have been given a dusting off in anticipation of the start of the winter racing season at Fair Grounds this Friday – a meet in which the trainer has always been a major force.
Aside from a small but select string that will remain in Churchill Downs, Stidham’s army of horses have already been making their merry way to the Louisiana track. And Stidham will be looking to make a snappy start at the meet in order to capitalize upon the fine year he has thus far enjoyed. Stidham has already amassed over $3 million dollars in earnings–a little over $200,000 shy of surpassing his largest year-end total–while he is currently sitting on the 73 mark for wins this year.
Word from the Stidham barn is that the young brigade will be a force to be reckoned with in Louisiana this year, with Keeneland conquerer Toutsie Rules and recent Razorback Futurity second Indygo Bo among the bright young prospects with which Stidham aims to go to war.
Nevertheless, Stidham will be without the services of some of his more established stable stars – at the beginning of the meet, at least. Istanford, Jessica’s Star, Ike Walker, Stellaris and Zubi Zubi Zu are all enjoying some well earned rest and recuperation after their fine exploits on the track this year. They will be brought back in as the new year looms large, and hopes are high that they can add to their already glittering resumes.
Every Way, one of Stidham’s stalwarts, is back in the groove after her own little sojourn, and will have her first piece of work back either this week or next. And we also have news of the two runners scratched this weekend. Ground Transport is now likely to be pointed towards the $100,000 Swatara Stakes at Penn National on Wednesday November 26, while Pirate’s Trove had a small temperature on the eve of her intended race. Stidham wisely decided that a long trip to Canada wouldn’t have been in her best interests. Recompense is surely waiting just around the corner for this talented young filly.