There’s a veritable candy-shop of stake race action for fans of the Stidham stable to savor this weekend, with big race competitors spread across the country.
Tomorrow, Notte d’Oro and Istanford both line up in the Grade II Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Del Mar – a $200,000 race over a mile and one sixteenth furlongs. Stidham’s pair of flying fillies face ten other rivals, with Flavian Prat set to ride 20-1 shot Notte d’Oro and Joe Talamo down to ride 8-1 shot Istanford.
It’s not going to be easy for Notte d’Oro and Istanford – as one would expect from such a prestigious race. Though they’ve both been in good form all season. Notte d’Oro has already won the Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap back in January, while Istanford has been keeping some tip-top company all year.
Over at Presque Isle Downs the same day, the exciting juvenile Pinnacle Peak lines up in the Sapling Stakes – a $100,000 race over one mile. Last time out, Pinnacle Peak won the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile Stakes – a performance that means he’s now disputing favoritism in the Sapling. This time, he faces five other rivals, and he enjoys the services of Trevor McCarthy in the saddle.
Monday, Labor day, Stidham shoots two sharp arrows in Leigh Court and Pirate’s Trove towards the Grade II Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes – a $400,000 race over six and a half furlongs. Nine go to post, with Gary Boulanger riding Leigh Court and Florent Geroux on Pirate’s Trove.
Leigh Court appears to hold the stronger chances. A multiple graded stake winner, Leigh Court finished a fine second in the Grade III Royal North Stakes – her first run since last November. And she’s a 4-1 shot to prevail on Monday.
A duel stake-race winner last season, Pirate’s Trove made a fine comeback in the Grade III Seaway Stakes last time out – her first start since December. And she’s a 10-1 shot in the Royal North.
Stidham’s other runners this weekend comprise the following: Tequila Joe at Del Mar today and Compass Stone and Kids Rule at Arlington. Thestarvingartist is a sole Stidham runner tomorrow at Arlington, while Belle Evon and Stardom Found go to post on the Yellow Ribbon undercard.