02/05/2012 11:26AM

Delta Downs: Despite slop, Star Guitar scores in Premier Night Championship

Racing over a sloppy track he appeared to dislike, Star Guitar, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wins the Premier Night Championship for the fourth time.

The remarkable Star Guitar splashed through the slop and won his fourth consecutive $200,000 Premier Night Championship on Saturday night a Delta Downs, drawing clear for a 3 1/4- length victory over a racing surface his connections believe he disliked.

Star Guitar typically presses or stalks the leaders in his races, but after breaking from post 10 and dropping to the back of the field under Corey Lanerie, Star Guitar was last as the field hit the backstretch run and only eighth after six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race had been completed.

“He stumbled a couple times, and I got a little worried down the backside he might not handle this track,” said Lanerie.

But if Star Guitar was fighting the racetrack, the racetrack didn’t take much fight out of the horse. Midway around the last of two turns, Star Guitar had moved into striking position, and, coming into the short homestretch with a full head of steam, he blew past Classic Cascade, Unitas, and Populist Politics and won going away.

“I’m glad that’s over with,” said Al Stall, who trains Star Guitar for the Brittlyn Stable of Maurice and Evelyn Benoit. “He couldn’t stand up on this racetrack He was struggling, but that’s the difference between a horse that’s made a [1 1/2 million dollars] and a regular horse. It’s just a good thing the horse was looking perfect and training perfect. He needed everything he had to get there tonight.”

Star Guitar, a 7-year-old bred by Brittlyn, paid $3.20 as the favorite and was timed in 1:45.61. The longshot Classic Cascade held second, with Populist Politics third.

Star Guitar has won eight races in a row, and ran his career mark to 22 victories from 28 starts. The winner’s share of Saturday night’s purse boosted his earnings to $1,635,862 as Star Guitar moved closer to Happy Ticket’s $1,688,838 career bankroll, an all-time Louisiana-bred record.