12/11/2009 12:00AM

Star Guitar has few Classic challengers


Too bad. One of the two best horses racing on Louisiana Champions Day, Star Guitar, is part of the shortest field on Louisiana Champions Day. But perhaps the one thing had a lot to do with the other. Star Guitar has never lost a Louisiana-bred stakes race, and his only Fair Grounds defeat came in the New Orleans Handicap. No wonder the challengers aren't lining up to take him on.

Star Guitar was one of just six entered in the $150,000 Champions Day Classic, one of on Saturday's 12-race Champions Day program. The program starts with three $100,000 Quarter Horse races - highly competitive, each - before the Thoroughbred action kicks in. Fields are large in the sprint races, with a decent group also assembled for the Turf. Superior Storm - the star attraction, along with Star Guitar - has seven rivals in the Ladies.

Star Guitar somehow managed to lose an allowance race Sept. 25, 2008 at Louisiana Downs. His other nine starts against Louisiana-bred competition have produced victories, and over the summer, Star Guitar won the $100,000 Evangeline Mile against open competition. In 2007, he was victorious in the Champions Day Juvenile, and last year, he won the Champions Day Sprint. And if there is a horse standing between Star Guitar and a third straight Champion's Day victory, he's not apparent on paper.

"He loves the Fair Grounds," said Al Stall, who trains Star Guitar for the Brittlyn Stable. "He does really well here. He's very fresh, and he picked up a little weight in the cooler weather. Everything looks like it's a go for Saturday - rain or shine."

That last is no empty phrase: Rain is forecast in the area Friday night into Saturday. Star Guitar is a two-time wet-track winner, however, and neither does Stall fear Saturday's nine-furlong distance, at which Star Guitar is 0 for 1.

"He's by Quiet American, he finishes up in his races all the time, and his numbers have gone up and up the farther he goes," said Stall.

Star Guitar drew post 6, and will have his regular pilot, Curt Bourque, in the irons. Ide Like a Double (who was cross-entered in the Turf, in case that race is rained onto dirt), Takin' the Bullet, and Star Production all have some manner of early speed, and the race setup ought to work in favor of Star Guitar.

As if he needed any help.