08/17/2013 6:58PM

Louisiana Downs: Guidry rides four stakes winners on Louisiana Cup card


Jockey Mark Guidry won four of the eight stakes that made up the $570,000 Louisiana Cup program at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, among his winners Skip the Pinot in the $75,000 Derby. The horse may now come under consideration for next month’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby after his dominant,  4 ½-length romp over Johnny Handsome.

Skip the Pinot’s win was a highlight on the day, while String King also put on a show when he won the $100,000 Turf Classic.

But the afternoon also belonged to Guidry, who moved Skip the Pinot ($4.40) to the front soon after the start of the 1 1/16-mile derby. The pair toyed with the field through an opening quarter in 24.99 seconds and a half-mile in 49.09. They were challenged by Lattin Devil through six furlongs in 1:13.78, but shook that rival into the stretch and went on to win on a track rated fast in 1:44.76.

Guidry’s other winners on the day came with Tensas Harbor ($40.80) in the $75,000 Oaks; Sittin At the Bar ($3) in the $60,000 Filly and Mare Sprint; and Little Polka Dot ($10.20) in the $100,000 Distaff.

As for Skip the Pinot, his co-breeder, co-owner,  and trainer, Andrew Leggio, said earlier this week the horse could be nominated to the Super Derby with the right performance Saturday. The race is Sept. 7.

Skip the Pinot, a son of the Skip Away stallion G.W.’s Skippie, also races for co-breeder Glen Warren. The horse picked up $45,000 for the win in the Louisiana Cup Derby. It was his first stakes score and third career win overall from seven starts.

Johnny Handsome, meanwhile, is now scheduled to return to his regular trainer, Leo Gabriel Jr., in Chicago, said Al Stall Jr., who trained the horse this summer when based in the region for the statebred stakes opportunities.

String King rules Classic

Earlier this week, Stall called String King the best Louisiana-bred in training in a statement he’s qualified to make as the man who trained the state’s all-time richest runner, Star Guitar. String King backed up the compliment on Saturday, when he stormed to a two-length win in the Turf Classic for his breeder, owner, and trainer, Charles C. Smith.

String King ($2.80) set the pace from the outset, taking the field through fractions of 23.70 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.32 for the half-mile,  and 1:11.07 for six furlongs. He poured it on through the stretch, to cover 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in a quick 1:40.70. Hud’s Rebellion cut into the leader’s advantage in the final furlong to finish second, a length clear of third-place finisher and defending champ Sadie’s Soldier.

Richard Eramia was aboard String King, who picked up his sixth stakes win in the Turf Classic and surpassed the $500,000 mark in earnings. Overall, the horse has won 10 of 24 starts and $519,052.

* Pagini ($63.80) was placed first in the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies after the disqualification of Lady Notional.

* Burning Warrior ($4.60) backed up his 11-length debut win with a four-length score in the $60,000 Juvenile, covering six furlongs in a sharp 1:10.47.

* Louisiana Glory ($9.20) overtook Palmy Bay and Easy Jazz for a half-length win in the $60,000 Sprint.