Wins for Lollipop and Ground Transport over the weekend capped another fine few days of action for Mike Stidham, continuing the good form of the barn since the new year rolled around.
Ground Transport got the ball rolling with a cosy win in the optional claimer Friday. Jockey Mark Guidry sprung Ground Transport out of the gates quick-smart, and once in front they never saw the hair of another competitor – coasting home 3 1/2 lengths to the good. This was Ground Transport’s third win in total and first win at Fair Grounds for this winter meet. After registering a trifecta of seconds, Ground Transport needed a confidence booster, and a confidence booster is exactly what he got, perhaps meaning that a step back into stakes company might be once again on the cards in the near future.
On Sunday, it was the turn of Lollipop to lick his rivals clean. Settled in second for much of the way by jockey James Graham, Lollipop made his move heading into the furlong pole before prevailing by a nostril in a thrilling three-way photo. Lollipop, a plucky five-year old Argentinian import, has clearly thrived in the swampy winter heat of Louisiana – this was his second win in only three starts here. As long as he continues in such good heart, there seems to be little reason for thinking that he won’t add to this tally before the meet ends.
Elsewhere, A Noble Calling showed enough in finishing second to suggest that a well-earned win will be soon on the cards, while Blue Y Gold, another South American import, showed guts and willing aplenty to finish third in a tasty little maiden special weight Saturday.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Stidham has made entries for La Bruna Forte and Bayou St John on Thursday, and for Gleam of Hope and Jenny June Friday. Check back in again later this week for a look ahead at the weekend action.