08/14/2011 12:07PM

Evangeline Downs: Star Guitar takes Evangeline Mile for third straight year


OPELOUSAS, La. - Star Guitar ran his record at Evangeline Downs to a perfect 6 for 6 Saturday night when he captured the $125,000 Evangeline Mile for the third year in a row. Sweetsouthernmoon finished three lengths back in second, followed by Crystal Moment and Nates Mineshaft, who combined to set the early pace.

Trained by Al Stall Jr., Star Guitar ($3.60) was ridden by Gerard Melancon, a late substitute for regular rider Corey Lanerie, whose plane from Kentucky was diverted due to mechanical problems. Calvin Borel, slated to ride Crystal Moment for his brother Cecil, was aboard the same plane. The winner covered the eight furlongs in 1:38.15 over a fast strip.

"He settled down perfectly for me after breaking alertly and was just galloping along most of the way," Melancon said after the race. "I asked him to go after the leaders approaching the top of the stretch and he just rolled by them. I never uncocked my stick and it was a very easy win."

Star Guitar won for the 19th time in 25 starts and earned $75,000. A  6-year-old son of Quiet American, Star Guitar has now banked more than $1.35 million for owner-breeder Brittlyn Stable.

In the co-featured $100,000 Lafayette Stakes for 2-year-olds, Indian Assault scored a mile surprise for trainer Keith Desormeaux in only his second career start. Indian Assault inherited the lead after early pacesetter Swass Like Me bolted entering the backstretch and never relinquished it en route to an emphatic five-length win over E Valentino and Whiskey Double. Kerwin Clark was aboard Indian Assault, who was timed in 1:37.78 for the mile over a firm turf course.

Owned by M. Adam Richey, Indian Assault earned $60,000 for the win and returned $11.20 to his backers as the fourth choice in the six-horse field.