Final push…

Sunday marks the end of the road for Fair Grounds this winter, and Mike Stidham has a number of strings to his violin as he seeks to bow out with a flourish.

Tomorrow, Gucci Brown goes for gold, while on Friday, it’s the turn of Thestarvingartist, Squatty, Candy Cate and Seoul Gold to fly the Stidham flag.

Over at Gulfstream Park this weekend, Istanford will be entered in the Grade II Honey Fox Stakes, while Notte d’Oro will get an entry in the Grade III Orchid Stakes.

As for the weekend warriors, last year’s Grade I Del Mar Oaks runner-up Stellaris made a fine 2015 comeback to finish second in a tidy-looking allowance Sunday. Settled midfield, Stellaris made a handsome move under jockey James Graham down the stretch, only to prove a little rusty in the closing stages.

What it did prove however is that Stellaris maintains all of her ability, and this fine re-introduction to competition sets her up nicely for an exciting 2015 campaign – one that will hopefully include a well-deserved black-type victory.

Another to run with aplomb over the weekend was I Dazzle who finished third in the Red Camelia Stakes Saturday. I Dazzle has now been sold and a career in the paddock now beckons for this super mare.

“She’s done us proud,” said Hilary Pridham, Stidham’s assistant. “She was a warrior. She ran hard every time she ran. Tough and consistent, she couldn’t have given us any more than she did. We’re sad to see her go.”

Don’t forget to check back in again later this week.


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