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Star Guitar headed to Evangeline Mile
Star Guitar emerged from his victory in the $100,000 Louisiana Showcase Classic last Saturday night better than ever, according to trainer Al Stall Jr. The reigning Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year is on track to start in the Evangeline Mile against open company on Aug. 14. Last year he won the Evangeline Mile in addition to the meet’s top race for statebred runners.
“We are in a little different situation this year versus last,” Stall said while negotiating the Atlanta airport on his way back to his Kentucky base from Evangeline.
“Last year he had the Louisiana Cup win at Louisiana Downs sandwiched in between his two races at Evangeline so he was fit and stayed fit. This year he had a pretty good breather coming in and without sounding like we are bragging or anything, I didn’t think he would need to be quite a 100 percent to win the other night. With a start under him now, he should be a sharper horse, which he will need to be in order to win the Mile again.”
Stall also accounted for the biggest upset of the night when his Miss Bean Wah won the Showcase Distaff, spoiling odds-on favorite Superior Storm’s bid to surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings. A win by Shezacrazygirl in the Showcase Filly Mile gave the barn a hat trick on the meeting’s biggest evening.
– Jeff Taylor
Canterbury has led the nation the past nine years in generating donations to the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund for disabled riders. The fund co-founded by television funny-man Tim Conway after he emceed an awards dinner at Canterbury Downs in the late 1980’s. Canterbury has continued its fund-raising efforts ever since.
Last week, three Canterbury jockeys, Scott Stevens, Paul Nolan and Don Proctor, were badly injured in a riding accident.
“As we saw last week, when we had three jockeys break vertebrae in their backs, accidents can happen so quickly,” said Jeff Maday, Canterbury’s media relations manager. “It’s not a matter of if a rider will fall during his career, it’s a matter of when that fall is going to happen.”
On Sunday, Canterbury will hold a silent auction for the Macbeth Fund. Some of the items to be auctioned are a Joe Mauer autographed baseball bat, tickets to Minnesota Twins games, sports memorabilia, sporting event tickets, restaurant gift certificates, bottles of wine, and a weekend fishing trip with jockey Nik Goodwin. The ultimate auction item is one month of free training by five-time Canterbury leading trainer Mac Robertson. More information is available at Canterburypark.com.
Commemorative hats and T-shirts will be on sale at Canterbury this week and a number of events featuring Canterbury jockeys are scheduled. Donation bins will be set up throughout the track.
– Dan Adams
The Indiana Downs meet will conclude Wednesday, July 14, and the final evening of racing should be exciting, as two stakes are scheduled as well as the final installment of the Don K starter handicap series .
The Don K is a six-race starter handicap series, and the final leg will be run at a 1 3/8 miles on the turf course for a purse of $42,000. Presents for Berti is the high weight for the turf marathon, after winning the last two legs of the series, the only two series races in which the 4-year-old gelding participated. The son of Congaree was claimed May 26 by his current connections, owner Ron Brown and trainer Tom Trione Jr. for $16,000.
◗ Victor Lebron looks well on his way to capturing the riding title and has 57 wins through Tuesday night. Leandro Goncalves was second with 46.
Richard Kohnhorst has the edge in leading trainer category with 21 wins through Tuesday, four more than Barbara McBride.
– John McDulin
The race for leading rider at Lincoln Race Course has been a family act most of the season and the brothers Jake and Jordan Olesiak continue to duel with two weekends remaining in the 32-day season here.
The Olesiak’s entered Monday’s card tied at 31 wins each. Jake scored a riding double Monday to gain a 33-31 edge heading into this Friday’s card, as Jordan opted to ride at Canterbury Park where he won both a Thoroughbred and a Quarter Horse race.
◗ Joe Woodard has shipped in a handful of horses to stable with Claus Jons and has posted five wins from 10 starters at the meet. Woodard trains for the family of Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays who are second in the nation in races won with 129.
Chuck Turco continues to lead the trainer standings with a 22-15 advantage over Kim Veerhusen.
◗ Hall’s Nayborhood Affair scored her third straight win Monday when topping a field of nonconditioned allowance runners going six furlongs. Nayborhood Affair, winner of the Matchmaker Stakes here on June 19, counted among her victims the Bluegrass Stakes winner Pure Star and multiple stakes winner Plaer’s Trump.
Also notching his third win of the meet was Sweet Pete, who cruised home on Friday night for a two-length win over $5,000 claiming company in 1:11.80, second fastest time of the season.
– Bill Hodtwalker
Streakin Down will begin his bid for a second major stakes win on Friday, when he starts in the third of five trial races for the Grade 1, $800,000 Rainbow Derby for Quarter Horses at Ruidoso. The 10 fastest qualifiers will advance to the finals on July 24.
Streakin Down was a one-length winner of the Grade 1 Heritage Place Derby at Remington Park in his last start May 29. He has raced once at Ruidoso, winning a trial at the track last July. Jimmy Brooks has the mount on Streakin Down for trainer Eddie Willis. Others making up the field for the fifth race include First Klas Fred, who won last year’s Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity.
The 440-yard trials begin with the third race, which drew Zoomin With Ease, the winner of last year’s Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity, as well as Swingin Daddyo and Sir Seth, who were second and third last out in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby, and Templar Knight, winner of the Grade 2 Sunland Winter Futurity in December.
Love Samba, the favorite in last year’s All American Futurity, runs in the fourth race, while Shesa First Ratify, who was the runner-up in last year’s All American, goes in the seventh race Friday.
◗ Runnning Brook Gal, who won the All American Futurity, is nearing a return to the races, said her trainer, Paul Jones. She has been working at Ruidoso. Jones said longterm stakes goals for her are the Grade 1, $1.5 million All American Derby at Ruidoso on Sept. 6, and the Grade 1, $1 million Los Alamitos Super Derby on Nov. 6.
– Mary Rampellini