Starting with a bang!

If Stidham continues on at Del Mar from where he’s jumped off, then he’s poised to enjoy a very profitable time indeed at the California track, after his two runners yesterday returned wreathed in laurels!

D. Shifflett may not be the fastest in the mornings–a bone of contention for his beleaguered exercise riders–but he sure looks a gelding with a serious afternoon engine judging by the performance he produced to break his maiden at the first time of asking. Owned by Haynes Stables, Feel The Thunder Stable and the Perlick family, this two-year-old son of Valid Expectations showed a thoroughly professional attitude to easily dispose of the opposition under jockey Rafael Bejerano. A step up in class is surely next on the agenda.

Next up was Zipessa, who was maintaining her unbeaten record when producing an even more glittering display under Bejerano. This three-year-old daughter of City Zip, owned by Empyrean Stables, is yet another young filly who is fast on the upgrade for Stidham. The two-and-three-quarter length drubbing she handed her opposition had stake-race material written all over it.

Onto the weekend, and things could get even spicier for Stidham.

There’s the not-so-small matter of Her Emmynency going to gold in the $200,000 Grade II San Clemente Handicap tomorrow – a race Istanford annexed for Stidham last year. Her Emmynency showed last time out that an attack of colic over the winter hadn’t consumed any of her talent (indeed, how she won given the trouble in running she encountered is a matter of almost biblical impossibility). And word from the barn is that she’s fired up for a big run.

Talking of Istanford, she’s looking to add to her impressive Del Mar big race trophy haul when she’ll join the other eleven lining up in the $80,000 Osunitas Stakes today. The sea air clearly suits this four-year-old daughter of Istan, and again, she couldn’t be in any finer shape.

Ground Transport is yet another barn favorite who is gunning for headline space this weekend. Not seen since November, Ground Transport is hoping to make a triumphant comeback in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand Race Course today, and though it’s a tough ask, this admirable and tough old warrior is expected to run his usual bang-up race.

As for Stidham’s other runners, Heart Stopper and Joe Mambo line up at Arlington today, Candy Cate struts her stuff at Prairie Meadows, while Rebel Rebel and Gucci Brown join Her Emmynency at Del Mar tomorrow. Dr. Clark is Stidham’s sole runner at Arlington tomorrow.


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