Mike Stidham has been fast out of the blocks at Arlington this season, and another double over the weekend has catapulted him into second place on the trainers’ standing.
Jockey James Graham gave Every Way a fine ride to pick up the condition allowance Friday. Angling towards the rear on the inner early on, the pair made stealthy headway through the race to challenge the leader, La Tia, mid-turn. After a sustained dual, Every Way eventually ground down La Tia, before sticking to her guns nicely to prevail by three-quarters of a length at the wire.
This was Every Way’s fourth career win, and this daughter of City Zip has been highly tried in the past, what with a number of Graded Stake starts, including a run in the Grade I Ashland Stakes as a three-year-old. She’s now two from three this year, and it would be no surprise to see a step back up in class on the cards.
On Saturday, the ex-Argentinian Love Blind claimed her first State-side victory when demonstrating an admirable attitude to win a handsome allowance under jockey Sheldon Russell. Mid-pack for the early part, Love Blind made steady progress to press the leaders at the top of the stretch. She hit the front in the final furlong, and ground-out a determined victory, the margin of difference only a neck at the wire.
Since relocating to North America, Love Blind has shown relentless improvement, and with this nice confidence booster under her belt, she looks nailed on to follow up Saturday’s win.
Looking ahead to the week, Stidham has a nap hand on entries. Partyinslowmotion is Stidham’s sole representative at Indiana Grand Race Course on Wednesday, while at Arlington a day later, he has entered Stellaris and Zubi Zubi Zu. On Friday, it’s the turn of Betterthandiamonds, Voluptuous and Brown Almighty.
Check back in later this week for a look ahead to the weekend action.