Jenny June provided the highlight on another solid weekend of action for the Mike Stidham stable.
Jenny June, a four-year-old filly by Johannesburg, had been knocking on the winner’s door a number of occasions, but on Friday she produced a power-house performance at Sam Houston to shake off her maiden tag in no uncertain terms. Settled on the heels of the leaders early on, jockey Deshawn Parker brought Jenny June with a rattling run down the home stretch to whizz past the post seven lengths clear of the next horse.
Over at Tampa Bay, Istanford ran by far her career best race to date when finishing second in the $200,000 Grade III Florida Oaks. Like a greyhound out of the gates, Istanford built a clear lead early on, remaining there until the final furlong before succumbing to the eventual winner, Testa Rossi. Istanford still finished 3 1/2 lengths clear of the third horse home, jockey Joseph Rocco on board.
In only five career starts, Istanford is less than $15,000 away from cracking the $100,000 mark in career earnings. But more importantly than that, she proved unequivocally that she is capable of mixing it with some of the better girls of her generation.
Looking to the week ahead, Stidham has made entries for In Tall Cotton today at Sam Houston. At Fair Grounds for the remainder of the week: Liz Pendens, Stellaris and Angel of the Nile on Wednesday, E. M. Maximus on Thursday, and La Bruna Forte on Friday.
Check back in again later this week for a round-up of the weekend contenders.