Another solid weekend of action for the Stidham barn threw up a number of fine performances, none more impressive than that produced by first-time winner, Tequila Joe at Del Mar on Saturday.
The two-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic was nearer last than first for much of the race, but when jockey Kent Desormeaux produced his mount mid-stretch, the response was electric. The pair drew away from their nearest pursuer to win by a going-away four-and-a-half lengths.
Stidham was understandably elated with the performance. “He was very game,” he said. “It was impressive the way he drew off in the final 16th of the race. I’m very pleased for his owners [Ronald and Jerry Frankel]”
Tequila Joe could next run in the Grade III Dixiana Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland – a win-and-your-in race for the Breeders’ Cup.
Top-class sprinter Leigh Court produced another highly commendable effort when finishing a three-quarter length runner-up in the Grade II Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes yesterday.
While disappointed that Leigh Court didn’t finish in front, Stidham was nonetheless proud of her effort. “She ran very well against a filly who is unbeaten on the synthetic,” he said. All roads lead to the Breeders’ Cup, with a possible appearance in the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland on October 3 en route.
Pinnacle Peak was another to put his best foot forward over the weekend, when this two-year-old son of Yes it’s True ran a fine third in Sunday’s Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park. Being only his third racecourse appearance, Pinnacle Peak was still a little green behind his ears, and Stidham is expecting a host of improvement from this exciting young colt.
“He’s big and immature,” said Stidham. “He’s a big kid, still learning his lessons, and it’s no disgrace to finish third in a race like the Sapling.”
Thestarvingartist was another nice Stidham winner over the weekend, producing a battling victory for owner Brent Gasaway at Arlington on Sunday.
Looking to the week ahead, Dr. Clark and Cadet Captain both hold entries at Arlington Friday.