Race of the Week 2017

Fair Grounds: Will Star Guitar Keep Strumming?

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Brittlyn Stable’s Star Guitar, who already boasts four straight stakes wins at Fair Grounds on its Louisiana Champions Day Presented by Acadian Ambulance program, has been installed as the 6-5 favorite in Saturday’s $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic as the showcase event of the one-day stakes series restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds.


A 6-year-old son of Quiet American, Star Guitar will be shooting for an unprecedented fifth successive win on Champions Day, as well as his third straight in the nine-furlong Classic for older horses as the series’ richest test. Already the second-richest money-earner behind Stewart Madison’s Happy Ticket among horses bred in the Pelican State, the homebred would move closer to the goal of surpassing that mare during his racing career.


Star Guitar, undefeated in his last six starts, is conditioned by two-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Al Stall Jr. and will be ridden by Louisiana native Corey Lanerie. The horse won Delta’s $100,000 Gold Cup at last asking on Nov. 5.


Despite his favored status, Star Guitar is expected to receive stiff competition on Saturday from Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Populist Politics, pegged as the strong 7-5 second choice based largely on his 6 1/4-length victory in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes on Thanksgiving’s Opening Day program. Nine-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss conditions Populist Politics and James Graham, Arlington Park’s leading rider during its 2011 season, will be in the irons.


The 20th renewal of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf for older horses at about 1 1/16-miles over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course shapes up as an excellent supporting stakes Saturday. Red Oak Stable’s Kissimmee Kyle, cross-entered in the Classic but the 3-1 morning line choice in the Turf, is expected to remain in the grass test after finishing 11 lengths behind Populist Politics in the Mr. Sulu, run over the main track. Seven-time Fair Grounds jockey champion Robby Albarado is named aboard the Al Stall Jr. trainee.


Still another Al Stall Jr.-trained charge, Brittlyn Stables’ Beanwah’smachine, undefeated in two career starts, is the 5-2 morning line choice in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile, restricted to 2-year-old accredited Louisiana-bred colts and geldings at six furlongs. Jockey Shane Sellers is named aboard once again.


Brittlyn Stables’ coupling of Sunday’s Child and Bleu Darling, each of whom graduated the maiden ranks in impressive fashion last time, are pegged as the 7-5 early favorites in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie for accredited Louisiana-bred juvenile fillies at three-quarters of a mile.


Sunday’s Child has last season’s Fair Grounds’ jockey champion Rosie Napravnik astride, while Bleu Darling has Albarado up. Stall trains Sunday’s Child but Ron Faucheux conditions Bleu Darling.


Fletcher Clement and Dennis Milligan’s Lawyer Tiffany has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies based on her three-length win in Delta’s $100,000 Magnolia Stakes Nov. 5. Jockey J. A. Larrosa rides that Henry Johnson Jr. trainee, while Preston Adams conditions John Adams’ Cat’s Production, 3-1 second choice in the 1 1/16-mile event for accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares, with Richard Eramia slated for the saddle.


Maggi Moss’s Little Polka Dot, trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Graham, is the 5-2 slight choice in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, a six-furlong dash for accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares, with Carl Moore Management’s Speedacious, trained by Bret Calhoun with Miguel Mena named, is projected close behind her at 3-1.


In the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, another six-furlong dash for accredited Louisiana-breds but open to males and females, Charles Fletcher’s My Star Runner, trained by Cody Autry, is the early 5-2 choice after finishing second in Delta’s $100,000 Gold Cup and has Eramia named. Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Southern Dude is considered as the 4-1 second choice in the early Sprint line while Amoss-trained and Albarado-ridden.


In Saturday’s $50,000 Louisiana Champions Day Handicap at one mile and 70 yards and restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds, who have started for a claiming price of $20,000 or less this year, Robert Orth and Wesley Hawley’s Get In Da House, trained by Wes Hawley with Miguel Mena named, is projected as the 6-5 choice.


Three straight Quarter Horse Stakes, all Grade II events, get Saturday’s program underway. The 13-race afternoon will necessitate a special early first race post of 12:10 p.m.




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No changing of the guard among Louisiana breds just yet ... Star Guitar holds off Populist Politics in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

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