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Star Guitar Elected to FG Hall of Fame

Star Guitar and Jockey Curt Bourque Delta Downs Premier Night
Photo: Steve Queen
Three new members have been elected to the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame: Star Guitar, the all-time Louisiana-bred earnings leader; E.J. Perrodin, believed to be Fair Grounds’ all-time leading stakes-winning rider; and Ray Salmen, owner of several popular stakes winners, including A Letter to Harry and Pago Hop.

The 2013 class will be inducted during a Fair Grounds Hall of Fame reception in the Black Gold Room on March 4, from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will support the ongoing English classes for backstretch workers conducted by St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, the Fair Grounds Chaplaincy and the Neighborhood Story Project.

Star Guitar – bred and owned by the Brittlyn Stable of Maurice & Evelyn Benoit and trained by Al Stall Jr. – is a bay horse by Quiet American, out of Minit Towinit. He earned 22 of his 24 wins in stakes. He won five Louisiana Champions Day races at Fair Grounds, including three consecutive runnings of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic (2009-2011), in addition to the 2007 LCD Juvenile and the 2008 LCD Sprint. Star Guitar eclipsed the previous Louisiana-bred earnings mark, held by Grade I winner Happy Ticket, by winning the 2012 Costa Rising Stakes, his 10th win at Fair Grounds from 12 starts (the two losses came in the 2009 and 2010 runnings of the Grade II New Orleans Handicap).

Perrodin, a native of Rayne, La., won 3,083 races with earnings of $41,402,415 in a 37-year career from 1975 to 2012. He won more than 200 stakes races, including 56 at Fair Grounds, believed to be the track record. His major Fair Grounds stakes wins include the New Orleans Handicap (Listcapade, 1983), the Fair Grounds Oaks twice (Quite a Gem, 1988, and Silky Feather, 1993) and the Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap (Candid Glen, 2003). Other top mounts included Sarah Lane’s Oates, Waupaca, Clever Song, Police Inspector and Composure. He won six on a Fair Grounds card on Nov. 18, 1979. Perrodin died of cancer in 2012 at age 55.

Salmen owned such local favorites as Pago Hop, Iron Gray and his best horse, A Letter to Harry. He was a member of the Fair Grounds Board of Directors for nine years. Salmen began attending the Fair Grounds as a high school student. While studying at Tulane University he started his Mardi Gras Stable and secured Tennessee Wright as his trainer. Upon graduation from Tulane he was drafted and served in World War ll. In 1970 he formed a partnership with A.H. and Albert Stall and the stable ran as ALAHRAY Stable, which campaigned several stakes winners.

Reservations for the Hall of Fame reception can be made by phone via the Fair Grounds Group Sales department at (504) 948-1285.

The 2013 class of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame was elected by a vote of the 12-member Fair Grounds Hall of Fame Committee, comprised of Jason Boulet, racing secretary; Mike Diliberto, head clocker and morning line oddsmaker; Tom Early, breeder; Bob Fortus, freelance turf writer; Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager; Marcus Hersh, Daily Racing Form; Bryan Krantz, former Fair Grounds owner; Angus Lind, writer; Jim Mulvihill, communications and pari-mutuel marketing manager; Ramon Muniz, paddock judge; Gary Palmisano, clocker; and Sandra Salmen, horsemen’s relations.




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