02/08/2012 3:56PM

Fair Grounds: Star Guitar's quest for earnings record may take a while

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Star Guitar needs $52,976 to become the all-time leading earning among Louisiana-breds, but may need more than one race to set the record.

Star Guitar came out of his rousing victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Delta Premier Night Championship no worse for wear, but his path to the all-time Louisiana-bred earnings record isn’t clear.

The 7-year-old Star Guitar won his eighth race in a row and fourth consecutive Premier Night Championship late Saturday evening in Vinton, on the other side of Louisiana from New Orleans. Star Guitar does not long linger in the western part of the state: Soon after cooling out from his victory he boarded a van and returned to Fair Grounds. Because of the 460-mile round-trip ship, Star Guitar gets an extra day away from training after his Delta journeys, trainer Al Stall said, and he will resume jogging Thursday morning after walking the shed row Wednesday.

“He’s good,” Stall said Wednesday. “Everything seems to be normal for him.”

Star Guitar won for the 22nd time in 28 starts, and raised his career earnings to $1,635,862, just $52,976 less than the amount earned by Happy Ticket, the richest-ever Louisiana-bred Thoroughbred. Star Guitar’s connections would like the horse to break earnings record at Fair Grounds, but the only race in Star Guitar’s division (Louisiana-bred dirt routes) left during the meet is the $60,000 Costa Rising on April 1, and the winner’s share of that purse would leave him nearly $18,000 short. So, barring a Costa Rising purse increase, who knows when and where Star Guitar might have a chance at the record.

“We don’t have a plan for him,” Stall said. “After the Costa Rising, but it’s only a $60,000 purse, the next Louisiana-bred race for him is July 4 at Louisiana Downs. We don’t know if he’d do something in between somewhere else.”

Stall’s other Delta Premier Night entrant, Beanwah’smachine, did not fare well in his first wet-track experience, finishing eighth in the Prince while losing for the first time in five races.

“He’s a quirky horse,” Stall said. “Looking at the racetrack, we thought maybe he’d be the type to say ‘Huh-uh.’ He’s fine. We’ll just regroup.”

Saturday morning, the 3-year-old filly Applauding had her first timed workout – a half-mile in 50 seconds -- since colic-like symptoms forced her to be scratched from the Jan. 21 Silverbulletday Stakes. Applauding, on track to make her two-turn debut in the Feb. 25 Rachel Alexandra, “was happy and into her work,” according to Stall.