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Stakes Advance: Star Guitar Stakes

Brittlyn Stable’s Sunbean, a winner of his last three straight including a nose tally in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, looms a strong choice when he faces five other older accredited Louisiana-breds in Saturday’s $60,000 Star Guitar Stakes, named for Brittlyn Stable’s champion and richest Louisiana-bred racehorse of all time, Star Guitar.

Trained by Ron Faucheux, the altered son of Brahms most recently captured the $200,000 Premier Championship by four lengths on Feb. 1 at Delta Down after winning the Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds on Dec. 14.  Before that Sunbean took down winning honors in Delta’s $100,000 Gold Cup Nov. 2.

Jockey Richard Eramia, aboard for all of those scores, returns in the irons for Saturday’s Star Guitar at 1 1/16 miles but must carry the high weight of 123 pounds under the allowance conditions of the race.

Glen Warren’s Hud’s Rebellion could be the main source of competition for Sunbean.  The entire son of Ole Rebel won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds on Dec. 14 but is usually equally proficient on the main track.  In his last start he finished a badly beaten sixth behind Sunbean in the Premier Championship but got caught up in a speed duel that night.  During the first half of 2013 when he had five straight starts on the main track, he won three straight times and was second in the other two.

Trained by Andy Leggio Jr, Hud’s Rebellion will have three-time Fair Grounds defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik astride at 121 pounds.

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Populist Politics cannot be discounted in the Star Guitar.  Although he disappointed in the Champions Day Classic here, he was a closing third behind Sunbean in the Delta’s Premier Championship and third in that western Louisiana oval’s Gold Cup.  Before that the Tom Amoss trainee won Evangeline’s $100,000 Louisiana Legends Classic last July by a half-length from Hud’s Rebellion.  Leandro Goncalves is slated for the saddle and gets in with 117 pounds.

Pat Jackson’s Easy Strike, trained by Morris Nicks, has won his last two straight here in New Orleans this winter but steps up to stronger competition here under Jamie Theriot while Diamond Racing’s Johnny Handsome and Norman Stables’ Hero Force complete the field.