11/03/2010 12:03PM

Gold Cup win would make Star Guitar a millionaire


Trainer Al Stall Jr. had a hectic morning Tuesday.

“We entered in $7.35 million in races in one day,” he said. “That doesn’t happen too often.”

Among his entries were Blame in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and J.B.’s Thunder in the $2 million Juvenile. But the Stall condition book was not limited to championship races at Churchill Downs. Star Guitar was also in the entry box Tuesday for Friday’s $100,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs in Vinton, La.

He will become a millionaire if he wins the Gold Cup, a one-mile race that shares a card with the $100,000 Magnolia for fillies and mares at the same distance. The races are the first of three significant Louisiana-bred offerings over the winter; next month has Champions Day at Fair Grounds, and February has the Premiere Night program at Delta.

“That’s our schedule,” said Stall, who trains Star Guitar for Brittlyn Stable.

Star Guitar has never lost a Louisiana-bred stakes from 10 starts. He has won three races on the Champions Day card dating back to the Juvenile in 2007, as well as the last two runnings of the Premiere Night Championship. He is also the defending champ in the Gold Cup and comes into the race the same way he did a year ago, off a win over open company in the $100,000 Evangeline Downs Mile in August.

“We gave him a little bit of a breather after that race, and it’s all systems go for him,” Stall said. “There’s definitely a few speed horses in there, so I think he’ll have his normal stalking trip from the outside. Hopefully, he’s sharp enough and fit enough to go on with it.”

Star Guitar will break from post 10 under Jesse Campbell. He is not the only horse who will become a millionaire with a win at Delta on Friday. Superior Storm will also top $1 million in earnings if she takes the Magnolia, which will be her first start since July 3.

“She’s on top of her game right now, doing awfully good,” said Rick Jackson, who trains Superior Storm for Jac Mac Stable. “The only thing I question is that at Delta, it takes a little fitter horse down there than a lot of other tracks. That’s a tiring racetrack. I’ve got her as fit as I can get her, and she worked five-eighths down there Saturday. I think I’ve got her tight enough, but I’ve never started one off that long a layoff at Delta.”

Superior Storm was given time off after the $100,000 Louisiana Showcase Distaff this summer at Evangeline Downs. She finished fourth in the race in what was her first defeat in a Louisiana-bred stakes from 13 starts in such races.

“She just completely didn’t sweat,” Jackson said. “We freshened her up, trying to get her back on course. She’s back sweating. She’s good.”

Jackson said Superior Storm’s schedule includes the Ladies on Champions Day on Dec. 11 and the Distaff on Premiere Night on Feb. 5.

“Her next two starts will be those races after this here, if everything goes okay,” he said.

John Jacinto has the mount on Superior Storm.