06/28/2012 1:25PM

Evangeline Downs: Get in Da House gets another shot at Star Guitar

Lynn Roberts
Get in Da House (above) gets a rematch with Star Guitar in the Legends Classic.

OPELOUSAS, La. – Star Guitar is likely to be his usual odds-on self as he goes after his fourth Louisiana Legends Classic title at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night. The Classic is one of eight stakes races on the Legends program devoted exclusively to those horses bred in Louisiana.

One can certainly understand the public’s exuberance regarding Star Guitar’s chances Saturday as he is showing few signs of slowing down. The 7-year-old has won his last nine races, including successful defenses of the Premier Championship at Delta Downs and the Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds earlier this year. His victory in the Costa Rising vaulted the homebred son of Quiet American to the position of richest Louisiana-bred of all time, with a bankroll of more than $1.6 million. In addition, Star Guitar was once again voted Louisiana-bred of the year earlier this month by the Louisiana Breeders Association.

Not everyone is conceding this year’s Legends Classic to Star Guitar, however.

“We’re looking forward to trying Star Guitar again,” Wes Hawley said Wednesday morning. Hawley trains Get in Da House, one of only four brave enough to enter against Star Guitar in this year’s Classic.

“Another couple of jumps, and I thought we would have gotten him last time,” said Hawley, referring to Get in Da House’s third-place finish by just a half-length in the Costa Rising.

Unlike Star Guitar, who has been idle since that April 1 race in New Orleans, Get in Da House has been busy.

The 4-year-old Get in Da House, whom Hawley claimed for himself and Robert Orth out of a modest $12,500 maiden claiming affair early last year, finished a willing third in the Grade 3 Texas Mile at Lone Star in late April and most recently reported home second to Nates Mineshaft in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap. The two races produced Beyer Speed Figures of 95 and 94, respectively. Those two numbers represent the best that the seven-time winner has earned in his 15-race career.

“I liked both of his races in Texas,” Hawley said. “He finished up with good run in each.”

Get in Da House rallied from far back in his last three efforts, but Hawley said he is not one-dimensional, pointing to his victory in a March optional claimer at Fair Grounds under Shaun Bridgmohan.

“He can lay close if he needs to,” Hawley said. “Bridgmohan had him close in that optional win earlier in the year, and he laid just off the pace in that starter stakes he won in December. We’ll be where we need to be.”

Mark Guidry will make the trip down from his summer base of Louisiana Downs to ride Get in Da House.

“I think it will definitely be a riders’ race,” he said. “That is why we went out and got Guidry.”

Star Guitar, trained by Al Stall Jr., will be ridden by Gerard Melancon. Together, Guidry and Melancon have made more than 9,000 trips to the winner’s circle.