04/01/2012 7:04PM

Fair Grounds: Star Guitar sets Louisiana-bred earnings record with Costa Rising win

Hodges Photograpahy/Lynn Roberts
Star Guitar (center), with Corey Lanerie up, wins the Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Star Guitar became the all-time leading earner among Louisiana-breds with a thrilling victory in a three-horse photo Sunday in the $90,000 Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

The victory was the ninth in a row, and 23rd from 29 career starts, for Star Guitar, a 7-year-old horse bred and owned by the Brittyln Stable of Evelyn Benoit and trained by Al Stall Jr. The son of Quiet American earned $54,000 to push his career bankroll to $1,689,862 and past Happy Ticket atop the all-time Louisiana-bred earnings list.

With Corey Lanerie biding his time, Star Guitar raced well off the early pace set by String King. Down the stretch, Populist Politics surged to the lead and Star Guitar needed every yard of the long Fair Grounds stretch to reel him in, prevailing by a head. A late-flying Get in Da House was just another neck back in third.

Star Guitar returned $3.20 after finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.01 over a fast track.

The purse for the Costa Rising was enhanced by $30,000 by a new sponsor, the Southern Oaks Plantation of Bobby Asaro, in something of a publicity ploy that enabled Star Guitar to pass Happy Ticket, who earned $1,688,838 with 12 wins from 20 starts in three seasons (2004-06).

* Stall also won the final stakes of the Louisiana Derby card Sunday, the $60,000 Bayou St. John, when Kissimmee Kyle got a great trip under Robby Albarado to prevail by about four lengths. Kissimmee Kyle, owned by Red Oak Stable, was the slight favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong race and paid $8.20 after finishing in 1:04.45 over a good turf course. Classy Deelites was second, while Sweet Little Sleet and Amanecer de Oro dead-heated for third among the older Louisiana-breds.