Star Guitar, one of the best Louisiana-breds ever, won the Louisiana Champions Day Classic for the third year in a row on Saturday at Fair Grounds, capturing the statebred-restricted $150,000 stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Populist Politics.
A winner in 21 of his 27 career starts, all for trainer Al Stall, Star Guitar has won a Champions Day race five years in a row. He took the 2007 Juvenile as a 2-year-old, and won the Sprint in 2008 before beginning his win streak in the Classic. Star Guitar, a 6-year-old Quiet American horse owned by the Brittlyn Stable, won his seventh race in a row, and is 6 for 6 in 2011. His $90,000 winner's share of the purse pushed his career earnings to $1,515,862, the second-highest total for a Louisiana-bred behind the $1,688,838 earned by Happy Ticket.
"He's a great horse," said Stall. "What else can you say? On a day-to-day basis he comes back from the track sound, eats well, coat's beautiful, his mind's not sour after all these years of grinding away. We'll just continue to space his races and keep on going as far as he'll take us."
Star Guitar ($3.20), raced in second as Break Up set a slow pace, 25.32 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 50.92 for the first half, and 1:16.34 for six furlongs. Break Up ran on decently in the stretch, but Star Guitar always seemed to have his measure, and when jockey Corey Lanerie asked Star Guitar to pull away at about the eighth pole, his mount went clear and easily held off Populist Politics.
"He's so nice to ride," Lanerie said. "He's push button. You just keep a leg on his side and he does the rest."
Populist Politics, a one-run deep closer, never really had a chance in a slow-paced race with a field of just five after Kissimmee Kyle and Candiano were scratched. He finished second by a neck over Break Up, who was followed by Heavenville and Eighth at Citypark. Winning time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:53.15.