Star Guitar Tunes Up for Saturday's Louisiana Champions Day

Brittlyn Stable’s Star Guitar, easily the “star” attraction for Saturday’s 19th running of the Louisiana Champions Day program at Fair Grounds, was given a routine maintenance breeze Sunday morning at the Crescent City oval, getting the half-mile distance in 51.20.

The accredited Louisiana-bred won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile here two years ago, and then came back to take down winning honors in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint last season.  This Saturday, the homebred colt will be trying for a third state-bred title in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, the feature race on a card comprised of 11 stakes worth $1.1 million.

Throughout his career, however, Star Guitar has been good enough to be successful in open company. After winning the Juvenile here in 2007, the son of Quiet American was being pointed for that season’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes as a prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby but was injured before he could be tested in that spot. He did not return to competition until the fall of 2008 with a winning effort on his way to victory in the 2008 Sprint. Following his victory in that dash, Star Guitar won Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace, added a score in Delta’s $200,000 Premier Championship, and then tried open company again in Fair Grounds’ Grade II New Orleans Handicap with an eighth-place finish.  

Undaunted by that setback, his connections kept him in open company for his next trip to the post at Churchill Downs – where he finished a good third, beaten less than two lengths for all of it – in the Grade III Alysheba Stakes on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 1.

After returning to the Pelican State, Star Guitar annexed Evangeline’s Pola Benoit Memorial on July 4 and Louisiana Downs’ Louisiana Cup Turf Classic on Aug. 1 in state-bred competition, and then tried open company again successfully in the $150,000 Evangeline Mile Aug. 15. Back in state-bred company Oct. 16, Star Guitar won Delta’s $100,000 Gold Cup and will be shooting for his fifth straight trip to the winner’s circle this weekend.  

Entries for the entire Louisiana Champions Day program will be taken Monday.

Desert Wheat Leads Crop for Louisiana Champions Day Turf
Wachtel Stable, Brous Stable and J. D. Lee’s Desert Wheat, hero of the 2006 Louisiana Champions Day Turf, and GAL Racing Stable’s Wildrally, who won the 2008 renewal when Desert Wheat finished second by a neck, are expected to renew their rivalry Saturday in the 2009 edition this Saturday.  

Desert Wheat, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, won Fair Grounds’$60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes in his last trip to the post Nov. 14 and also won the Mr. Sulu last season.

Productive Envoy, Red Rally May Meet Again in Juvenile
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Productive Envoy and Dan Lynch, Ken Sentel and Merrill Scherer’s Red Rally, first and second respectively in Delta’s $250,000 Louisiana Legacy Stakes Nov. 6, may meet again in Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds.

The latter captured Louisiana Downs’ $100,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes by almost 10 lengths at previous asking Oct. 3.

Others possible include Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Heavenville and Phyllis Hodges’ King of the Bayou.

Local Maiden Winners Could Take Next Step in Saturday’s Lassie
Daniel Lynch and Merrill Scherer’s Hunt for Candie, who broke her maiden here Nov. 8, and William Deckwa Jr.’s Lee City, who accomplished that same feat here Nov. 20, are among the 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies being considered for this Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes.

However, Red Oak Stable’s Shezacrazygirl, undefeated in two starts and heroine of Delta’s $250,000 Louisiana Jewel Nov. 6, would be a likely favorite should she be entered.