MIKE STIDHAM RACING STABLES
Welcome to the website of Mike Stidham, one of the nation’s leading racehorse trainers. For over thirty-five years, Stidham has shown himself to be one of those rare trainers capable of coaxing the very best from the horses in his care, while always keeping their health and wellbeing at the forefront of his concerns. And the results speak for themselves. Last year was his most successful year yet, when he finished the season 36th in the country with 105 wins on the board and $3,747,718 in overall prize-money earned. In 2015, he finished the season 45th in the country with 89 wins on the board and $3,106,321 in overall prize-money earned. His previous largest haul was in 2014, when he bagged 80 wins and $3,348,203. Year in, year out, Stidham’s results reveal a shrewd and canny handler with a keen eye for finding the right spots for his horses. Underlying those results, however, is a more fundamental factor in Stidham’s continued success: his rare understanding of the racehorse and his intuitive ability to know when to forge on with a horse and when to give it the time that it needs to mature. These talents combined are a potent mix, and they’re the reason why Stidham is one of the most revered and prolific trainers in the nation.
2016 will go down in history as a year that probably means something a little different to whoever you ask. But for Mike Stidham, and everybody who works for Stidham Racing, last year will be remembered for one thing, and one thing only: the great man’s finest year to date as a trainer.
Boy, 2016 will take some topping. Stidham finished the year with his biggest ever year-end haul: $3,747,718 in total prize-money earned. He also made it past the 100 winner mark for the first time, wrapping things up with 105 winners in total. These handsome totals put him 36th among the top trainers in the country.
A number of days stand out from the crowd. Earlier in the year, Speedway Stables’ Leigh Court produced a great stake-race double, taking the Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds in February before claiming the Grade III Whimsical Stakes at Woodbine in April.
Leigh Court wasn’t the only graded stakes winner last year. Empyrean Stables’ Zipessa ran away with the Grade III Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes before finishing third in the GI Beverly D, second in the GI Rodeo Drive Stakes, then capping her season with a fine run in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
There were other great stake-race performances from a number of other runners last year, including DARRS Inc’s Proforma, Empyrean Stables and Two Princesses’ Diadura, Mt. Brilliant Farms’ Secret Someone, and Dare to Dream Stables’ Jockamo’s Song.
And let’s not forget, Stidham also claimed another first last year when clinching his first ever trainer’s title at Fair Grounds.
“It was a great year, that’s for sure,” said Stidham, about his achievements. ” We were so lucky. The horses remained in flying form all season through, and things just clicked for us.”
“That said, it was a real group effort. I think I’ve got the best team working for me of any trainer in the country. From the grooms and hotwalkers, all the way up to the exercise riders and assistants, everybody knows their jobs inside and out. Even more importantly, they love their horses, and I think that shows in the results.”
“I need to thank my assistant Hilary for the fine work she does behind the scenes. So much of last year’s success is down to her, and she really is the glue that holds everything together. I’d also like to single out the great work put in by my other assistants–Thomas Stuckey, Dinicio Perez, Anna Kinney, and Ben Trask–each of whom play such an important role.”
“Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my amazing owners who are the backbone to the whole operation,” he added. “Not only do they think enough of me to provide me with such a gorgeous squad of horses to train, but they make what I do such a pleasure. I can’t thank them enough. I never once forget that I wouldn’t be where I am today without their tremendous support down through the years, and it just means so much to me that I can repay them with a year like 2016.”
Stidham then signed off with an ominous warning to his rivals: “2016 was indeed a great year, yes, but one thing I am not is complacent. And you can be absolutely certain that I am going to try my hardest to make 2017 even more of a success for everyone involved.”
MIKE STIDHAM’S GRADED STAKE WINS
Her Emmynency – Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, 2015
Sutra – Frizette Stakes, 2006
Two Altazano – Coaching Club American Oaks, 1994
Istanford – San Clemente Handicap, 2014
Willcox Inn – American Derby, 2011
Workin For Hops – American Derby, 2010
Tizaqueena – Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes, 2009
Two Altazano – Fantasy Stakes, 1994
Two Altazano – Monmouth Oaks, 1994
Zipessa – Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes, 2016
Leigh Court – Whimsical Stakes, 2016
Jessica’s Star – Iowa Derby, 2014
Istanford – Arlington Classic Stakes, 2014
Willcox Inn – Washington Park Handicap, 2013
Upperline – Arlington Matron Stakes, 2012
Upperline – Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes, 2012
Willcox Inn – Hawthorne Derby, 2011
Gran Estreno – Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap, 2011
Workin For Hops – Hanshin Cup Handicap, 2011
Gran Estreno – Washington Park Handicap, 2010
Tizaqueena – Arlington Matron Stakes, 2010
Comedero – Chick Lang S. presented by Apple Ford, 2010
Upperline – Arlington Oaks, 2010
Gran Estreno – Washington Park Handicap, 2009
Texas Fever – Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes, 2009
Whimsy – Iowa Oaks, 2005
Culinary – Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes, 2004
Where’s Taylor – Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap, 2000
Desert Air – Razorback Handicap, 1999
Manzotti – Canterbury Cup Handicap, 1988
Manzotti – Trenton Handicap, 1988
Manzotti – John B. Campbell Handicap, 1988