Michael Stidham, born 1957 in Neptune, New Jersey, was born into horse racing. His father George Stidham, was a jockey and trainer. George also served as Bill Hartack’s business manager and part-time agent before becoming a trainer. George Stidham passed away April 1, 2005 at the age of 78. Mike learned the trade under the watchful eye of his father, from the ground up. Starting out as a hotwalker and groom, working up to a position as an assistant trainer.
Mike spent two years in college, setting his sights on becoming a veterinarian before deciding to become a trainer. He worked for his father in south Florida and began training on his own at Tampa Bay Downs in 1978 when his father sent him to the Gulf Coast with horses that did not fit at Gulfstream Park.
In 1979 Mike saddled his first career winner. He moved to California in the early 1980s and trained for Elmendorf Farm when it was owned by Max Gluck. Returning to Florida after two years out west, Mike assumed a private training job with the LaCroix family’s Meadowbrook Farm.
He has found his niche in the Midwest the past several years, in Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky and Illinois, where he maintains a high-percentage outfit. Mike is the proud father of three daughters; Stephanie, Samantha and Camile.
- First stakes winner was Me Good Man, who won the 1980 Independence Stakes at Louisiana
- First graded stakes winner was Manzotti, winner of the 1988 John B. Campbell Handicap. Manzotti also won the 1988 Trenton Handicap and the 1988 Canterbury Cup
- First grade 1 winner was Two Altazano, who won the 1994 Coaching Club American Oaks. Two Altazano went on a remarkable run as a 3-year-old in 1994, also winning the Fair Grounds Oaks, Sam Houston Oaks, Monmouth Oaks and Marie DeBartolo Oaks
- Additional graded stakes winners include Desert Air (1999 Razorback Handicap) and Where’s Taylor (2000 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap)
- Sutra wins the Frizzette Stakes GR.I in 2006
- Tizaqueen winning the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile GR.II
- Former claimer Gran Estrano winning the GR.III Washington Park Handicap
- Won his 1,000th race on Feb. 1, 2008, saddling Exoteric at Sam Houston Park
- Comedero winning the GR.III Chick Lang Stakes on Preakness Day 2010
- Tizaqueena’s Arlington Matron GR.III win, May 2010
- Upperline winning the Arlington Oaks, GR.II June 2010
- Working for Hops extends Micheals stakes wins for 2010 to 11 in the American Derby, GR.II
- Gran Estreno winning the Grade III Washington Park Handicap, two years in a row
- Gran Estreno wining the Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap GR.III at Fair Grounds
- Wilcox Inn wins the Arlington Classic GR.III
- Wilcox Inn wins the Grade II American Derby at Arlington
Upperline wins the Grey Goose Bewtich Stakes GRIII at Keeneland, exactly a month later she wins the Arlington Matron Stakes GRIII at Arlington Park
Mike will train horses for Dare To Dream Stable based at Arlington Park, Churchill Downs and Fairgrounds in New Orleans.