Football player Jack Youngblood once said that good luck is the residue of preparation. If that’s true, then Mike Stidham’s preparations prior to the current Arlington meet must have been impeccable given his recent scorching run of form. And the fun looks set to continue this weekend, with three of his stable stars set to compete in a number of big races throughout the nation.
One of the revelations of the season, Ground Transport, heads east to Belmont Park on their biggest day of the year to take in the Grade II Brooklyn Invitational Stakes – a mile and a half race worth a cool $500,000. With eight scheduled to go to post, Ground Transport is among the early morning line favorites for the race, with Bob Baffert’s Cat Burglar the overall favorite. Johnny Velazquez takes the mount.
Over at Canterbury Park the same day, Every Way lines up in the Minnesota H.B.P.A Distaff Stakes – a seven and one half furlong race on the turf, worth $75,000. A total of 14 horses are scheduled to go to post, and Stidham’s runner is the 9/2 early morning line favorite. Jockey James Graham takes the mount. Every Way bids to follow up her nice win last time out in an optional allowance at Arlington.
Back at Belmont on Sunday, lovely Liz Pendens is one of eleven fillies to line up in the Belmont Park Stakes – a seven furlong race on the turf with $100,000. It’s a tough task for Stidham’s warrior of a young filly, with Bill Mott’s Byrama bringing Grade I form into the race, but Liz Pendens will have able assistance in the saddle from Joe Lezcano.
Today, Partyinslowmotion bids to break her maiden at Indiana Grand Race Course, while Betterthandiamonds and La Bruna Forte take in races at Arlington. Follow the Kitten is Stidham’s sole representative at the Chicago venue on Saturday.
Check back in again early next week for a round up of the weekend action.