The winners have been coming thick and fast at Keeneland for Mike Stidham, with two winners from only a handful of runners over the past three days.
Lovely Liz Pendens finally got on the scoresheet this season with a determined victory in a nicely-endowed allowance race Wednesday. Liz looked like a lost cause for much of the way, and was still nearer last than first as she swung wide into the straight. But her turbo-thrusters kicked into over-drive mid stretch, and with a powerful run late-on, she snatched victory in the shadow of the wire to prevail by a nose, Robbie Albarado in the saddle.
This was liz’s third career victory, and the $62,000 pot pushes her overall earnings well over the $100,000 marker.
Next up was Hit Girl, who only this afternoon was an impressive winner of the $45,000 claimer. In stark contrast to Liz Pendens, Hit Girl was always sitting up with the pace, and as they turned into the stretch, she powered clear to coast past the post a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths clear of the second finisher. Stewart Elliot was the winning jockey.
It was a fine training performance from Stidham, as this was Hit Girl’s first run for over nine months.
With no runners over the weekend, Stidham will be able to put his slippered-feet up for an unusual but well-earned rest. His next runner could be Follow the Kitten next Wednesday as the bandwagon rolls onto Churchill Downs.
Check back in again next week for a look ahead to the week’s action.