06/30/2011 2:21PM

Evangeline: Star Guitar seeking third straight Louisiana Showcase Classic


OPELOUSAS, La. – Star Guitar will be going for his third straight Louisiana Showcase Classic Saturday night at Evangeline Downs when he heads an all-star cast of Louisiana-breds slated to go postward on Showcase Night. The 10-stakes program is limited exclusively to horses bred in the Bayou State and will offer purses of more than $1 million. First post time is set for 5:40 p.m. Central.

Trained by Al Stall Jr. and owned and bred by Brittlyn Stable, Star Guitar is a perfect 4 for 4 over the Evangeline strip. In addition to his success in the Classic, he has accounted for the last two runnings of the Evangeline Mile against open company. Overall, Star Guitar, a 6-year-old son of Quiet American, has won 17 of 23 career starts and earned over $1.2 million.

Idle since winning the Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds in March, Star Guitar has been training at Louisiana Downs, where he breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 last week. Three weeks ago, he was named 2010 Louisiana Breeders Horse of the Year.

“We sort of ran out of races for him back in the spring so we gave him some time off,” Stall said earlier this week. “He is following the same blueprint that we used last year in that we are gearing him up more for the second half of the year. He has always been a sound horse and has come back well from time off before so we think he is ready.”

Corey Lanerie, currently involved in a heated battle for leading rider at Churchill Downs, will return to his home state to ride Star Guitar. Stall said he also plans on being at Evangeline Saturday night, driving over after flying into his native New Orleans.

Stall will also send out Good Human Bean in the Showcase Ladies Sprint. The 4-year-old Langfuhr filly was an impressive winner in a nonwinners-of-four allowance at Evangeline in her last start and finished second in the Champions Day Ladies Sprint at Fair Grounds last December in her stakes debut. Lanerie will be in the saddle on her as well.

Trainer Wes Hawley will be packing a one-two punch of his own Saturday night as he sends out the likely favorites in both divisions of the Showcase Mile. Get In Da House, winner of the Rajin Cajun Stakes in his last start, will go for his fourth win from five starts in the male race. Lovenotlost, who had a three-race win streak narrowly snapped in the Acadiana Stakes in her last trip postward, will seeks to make amends in the filly division.

Foreign Production and Tortuga Flats, both multiple stakes winners, will renew their longstanding rivalry in the Showcase Sprint while Snug heads up a wide-open Showcase Turf Classic.

The 2-year-old division is always popular in Louisiana and early season bragging rights are at stake in the two divisions of the rich D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity. Both are to be contested at five furlongs and are worth over $125,000 each.

This year’s filly division of the Shine appears to be a showdown between Coteau Kitten, winner of both of her starts by a combined 18 1/2 lengths and Izzie’s Gold, winner of her qualifying trial in the second fastest time of the evening behind Coteau’s Kitten three weeks ago.

On the colt and gelding side, Courtesy Cat won his qualifying heat by a widening 8 1/4 lengths for trainer Tony Richey and could rule a slight favorite. Also sure to draw attention in the betting are the two other trial winners, Lighter Fluid and Top Cat Boogie.