The curtain has been drawn and Fair Grounds is over for another year, but Mike Stidham hitches up the wagons satisfied with another solid showing at the Louisiana racetrack. Stidham ends the meet in eighth place on the trainers standings with a noteworthy $704,646 in total earnings. What is more, Stidham’s runners finished in the first three over fifty percent of the time – no mean feat at such a competitive venue.
A number of performances have made this meet a memorable one for Stidham, none more so than I Dazzle’s head-turning display in the Red Camelia Stakes a few weekends ago. Grounds Transport also indicated that, now four, he’s ready to start fulfilling the immense promise that Stidham knew he was capable of when setting up his victory in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park with a nice confidence boosting win at Fair Grounds back in January. The younger brigade have also contributed well to the overall success of the stable, with the likes of Sanculpa proving that his is a name to remember in the upcoming months.
Stidham now makes his annual pilgrimage north with the bulk of his string to Keeneland for their short spring meet, where I Dazzle is set to make her reappearance in the Grade III Bewitch Stakes. Then, before the month is out, Stidham will forge on to Arlington for the summer. He will also maintain a small string at Churchill Downs and another at Hawthorne. With the string in such fine heart at present, and with the mercury on the rise, this summer promises to be a sizzler for the Stidham stable.