12/19/2009 12:00AM

Star Guitar dominates Champions Day Classic

Louis Hodges Jr.
Star Guitar, ridden by Curt Bourque, won the Louisiana Champions Day Classic by 7 3/4 lengths.

NEW ORLEANS - Star Guitar earned his third career Louisiana Champions Day victory, winning the by 7 3/4 lengths and improving his record to 11 for 14.

Jockey Curt Bourque settled Star Guitar in third behind early pacesetter Takin' the Bullet, then sent him forward at the turn. Star Guitar was never challenged in the stretch.

"I put him where I wanted him to be," said Bourque. "And then I was just the pilot."

The only unknown going into the race was Star Guitar's ability to get the distance. It was his first time going a more than 1 1/16 miles, but it proved to be no problem. Second place went to Ide Like a Double, who was 2 1/4 lengths in front of pacesetter Takin' the Bullet.

Star Guitar returned $2.40 as the overwhelming favorite. He covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.15, earning $90,000 for owners Brittlyn Stables. With Saturday's purse, Star Guitar's ran his bankroll to more than $700,000.

With the competition a level below, trainer Al Stall was forced to compare Star Guitar to earlier versions of himself.

"He's definitely a better horse than last year," said Stall. "He's bigger and stronger."

Stall indicated that Star Guitar was pointing toward the Premier Night Championship at Delta Downs on Feb. 6.

"He likes his races spaced out and the Louisiana program accommodates that," said Stall.

Early moves pays off for Desert Wheat in Turf

Jockey Corey Lanerie took Desert Wheat forward earlier than usual and made the move pay off as Desert Wheat cruised to a four-length victory in the .

Usually a deep closer, Lanerie kept Desert Wheat close to the leaders in the 1 1/16-mile race, settling in fifth before taking him four wide midway down the backstretch and taking the lead at the top of the stretch.

"I scared myself. I found myself getting there a little too early," said Lanerie.

It turned out to be a nonfactor, as Desert Wheat was much the best, finishing the 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.45 over a turf course rated as yielding.

Nowandforevermore accelerated through the final furlong to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of pacesetter High Toned.

Desert Wheat paid $3.80 to win as the odds-on favorite and earned $60,000 for his connections, trainer Bill Mott and owners Wachtel Stables, Brous Stables, and Jerry Lee.

Seven Seventythree romps in Ladies Sprint

Seven Seventythree blew by the early pacesetters and scored an eight-length victory in the at Fair Grounds.

Master Link and Cajun Conference dueled early, setting fractions of 21.98 for the quarter and 45.92 for the half, while jockey Shaun Bridgmohan settled Seven Seventythree. She was sixth at the top of the stretch when Bridgmohan asked her to run.

"She really threw down a big turn of foot the last part," said Bridgmohan. "I was shocked at the turn of foot she had."

Seven Seventythree's acceleration was visually impressive. She ran past five horses in the stretch, widening her lead with every stride. Cajun Conference, the favorite, held on for second by a neck over Skipping Town.

Seven Seventythree went the six furlongs in 1:11.53 and paid $9.20 to win. She earned $60,000 for her connections, trainer Steve Asmussen and ownership Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. The win took her bankroll past $300,000.

"She's a great filly who happens to be Louisiana-bred," said Asmussen. "It was a ton of pace, and it really suited her, and Shaun gave her a great trip."

Sellers finds clear path for Flasy Wildcat

Jockey Shane Sellers piloted Flashy Wildcat from last to first in the , the last of the stakes races on Saturday.

Sellers and Flashy Wildcat were last in the field of 12 in the early going, but moved slowly forward until midstretch when Sellers guided Flashy Wildcat between horses. From there, Flashy Wildcat was much the best, accelerating past the last four horses and coming home 4 1/2 lengths in front.

Flashy Wildcat went the six furlongs in 1:09.86 over a fast track. Lee City Slew finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Power Surge.

Flashy Wildcat paid $4.20 to win, and earned $60,000 for his connections, trainer Troy Young and ownership Lee Young Farm Inc.