01/03/2009 12:00AM

Star Guitar impresses in Dixie Poker Ace


Star Guitar was the consummate professional while winning the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace by a length at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

Running his record to a gaudy 5 for 6, Star Guitar won under a new jockey, in his first attempt at two turns, and in a race that was taken off the turf and put onto a muddy Fair Grounds main track.

With the race's longest shot, Classy Deelites, setting a modest early pace, Star Guitar rated, waiting for the top of the stretch to make his move. When asked by jockey Corey Lanerie, Star Guitar angled out and rallied to get by Classy Deelites.

He went the mile distance in 1:37.42 and paid $6 to win. Classy Deelites held on for second, a nose in front of Hallway.

The victory took Star Guitar's bankroll past $200,000 for his connections, Brittlyn Stable and trainer Al Stall. It was his first time around two turns, and he answered all questions about the distance and the mud.

"We were happy to let him settle," said Stall, "but then he turns off so much that you kind of have to work to wake him up."

"At the three-eighths pole, I had to get after him," said Lanerie. "He's a horse that you have to get onto to have him do what you want him to do."

Star Guitar, 4, has come back strong after taking nearly a year to heal from a cannon bone injury and will be pointed toward the $200,000 Championship on Premier Night at Delta Downs on Feb. 7.