2021 already has been a huge year for Mike Stidham, who holds a Grade 1 win from Mystic Guide in the Dubai World Cup and a Grade 2 score with Micheline in the Hillsborough.
Stidham updated Horse Racing Nation on some of his stable stars on Wednesday.
Mystic Guide. The Dubai winner arrived at Keeneland on Monday and continues to take time off after the big victory. Stidham said the Ghostzapper colt has settled in comfortably.
“We’re just doing light stuff, just jogging him with the pony,” Stidham said. “But he’s actually handled all the traveling and the trip really well, his coat looks great. He lost a few pounds on the trip but aside from that he’s got good energy and looks fantastic.”
Stidham said he did not have a set-in-stone return race mapped out for Mystic Guide, but he mentioned a few possibilities.
“We’ll be nominated to races like the Stephen Foster (G2) and races at Belmont, obvious Grade 1 races,” Stidham said. “Later in the summer we're looking at the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar because the Breeders’ Cup is there.”
Proxy. The second-place finisher in the Risen Star (G2) and Lecomte (G3), he finished fourth in his most recent race, the Louisiana Derby (G2). The colt will run back on Saturday in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland.
Stidham said he is hoping for a solid effort from the Tapit colt in the race.
“We’re going in a spot where we’re hoping to come out of it a Grade 3 winner,” Stidham said. “
Despite the Lexington’s place as a Kentucky Derby prep race, offering 20 points to the winner, Stidham said Proxy is “very unlikely” to be in the gate for the May 1 Run for the Roses. The colt has 34 Derby points and is 20th in the standings.
“I never say never in this business because things can change and then you look like an idiot if you say definitely no on something,” Stidham said. “So I would say it’s unlikely that we would run in the Derby, but nothing is out of the question.”
Micheline. A half-sibling to Proxy, Micheline is set to arrive at Keeneland on Thursday.
“She’s had a few nice works, and her best work was her last work,” Stidham said.
She breezed a four furlongs on April 2 in a bullet 47.2 seconds.
The filly will run in the Jenny Wiley (G1) on the Keeneland lawn Saturday after winning the Hillsborough (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs on March 6.
“I think she’s really coming into this race as good as she could be,” Stidham said.
Pixelate. The winner of the 2020 Del Mar Derby (G2) finished fourth in his most recent start on the grass at Fair Grounds in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2). Stidham said the City Zip colt came out of the race in good condition.
“He always puts in a good effort, no matter where we run him,” Stidham said. “Thing tone thing about Pixelate, he’s probably not quite that Grade 1 level, he’s more of a Grade 2, Grade 3 type horse, and we're going to be looking at those kind of races.”
Stidham said Pixelate is nominated for the Henry S. Clark on April 17 at Laurel Park.
Roadster. After being switched from Bob Baffert’s barn to Stidham’s care ahead of his last start in the New Orleans Classic (G2), where he finished fourth at Fair Grounds, the Quality Road colt is back with Baffert.
Roadster worked in California for Baffert on Monday.
“I think the plan is to run him in the Californian (G2)," April 17 at Santa Anita, Stidham said.
Princess Grace. The winner of the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in November in her most recent start will return in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. The filly also has a second-place finish on her record in the Pink Oak Valley view Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in October.
“We just gave her a little freshening, but we’re excited about getting her back to the races,” Stidham said.
The filly will face a tough challenge in the race, as Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse said in March that the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) also will serve as the return of Got Stormy, who won a photo finish in the Honey Fox (G3) on Feb. 27 in her most recent race.