It’s been quite the week for Mike Stidham, what with a birthday, another nice winner and a job well done with a first-time starter for the stable looking for a bit of black-type.
Notte d’Oro got the ball rolling Thursday, making it win number three of her career in an allowance under jockey James Graham. Owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables, this three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro finished like a scalded-cat to win by a going-away 3/4 of a length at the wire – it’s surely a matter of when not if this exciting young filly steps into the stake-race arena.
Talking of stake races, One Time Only’s third-place finish in the Blushing K. D. Stakes Thursday made it a very satisfying mission accomplished for all concerned. Stidham had stated before-hand that he was looking for a bit of black-type for his new recruit, and she did just that, seeing the race out well on her first start for the barn – and her fifteenth start over-all.
This weekend is an unusually light one for the Stidham barn, with Squatty and Out of Mischief entered today at Fair Grounds, and Kids Rule Stidham’s sole representative tomorrow.
A month into the meet at Fair Grounds, however, and things couldn’t be looking sunnier for the stable. Stidham is currently lying third on the trainer’s standings, with 6 wins on the board at a strike rate of 20%, a piggy-bank that already totals $237,350, and a 57% strike-rate for horses finishing in the first three. And considering Stidham has yet to unleash some of his heavier artillery, he’s well poised to capitalize on what has been one of his best starts at the Louisiana track.
And here’s one more interesting tit-bit to sign off on: Stidham will be keeping a string of about ten horses at Oaklawn this winter, and the mighty Toutsie Rules is pencilled in to run in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes on opening day, scheduled for January 9.
Don’t forget to check in next week for a round-up of the weekend action.