12/09/2010 4:41PM

Star Guitar looks to rebound in Champions Day Classic


Al Stall didn’t have much time to brood over Star Guitar’s shocking defeat in the $100,000 Gold Cup on Nov. 5 at Delta Downs. The next day, Blame would win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. That’ll take the sting out of a loss.

Now it is on to another Classic for Stall, though this one carries slightly less than the one with Zenyatta in Louisville. The question now is whether Star Guitar will bounce right back from his first loss in years to a Louisiana-bred foe and win the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic for the second year in a row.

Star Guitar breaks from post 1 and will have at most seven foes in the Champions Day Classic, one of seven $100,000 Thoroughred stakes on a 13-race program that gets underway at 12:10 p.m. Three Quarter Horse stakes kick off the action. A late pick four covers races 10-13, landing on a near-impossible Louisiana-bred maiden.

Stall was watching from Louisville when Star Guitar went to the post at Delta. Star Guitar broke from the 10 hole, raced in eighth early, made a move to reach contention on the backstretch, but finished evenly. Star Guitar had lost only one prior race to Louisiana-breds, and this was not supposed to happen.

“You see him middle of the pack on the outside, you wait for him to start picking up horses, but he didn’t,” Stall said of the Delta run. “It was a had-to-happen-someday kind of race. We’re not looking to trade places with anyone Saturday.”

Star Guitar, a winner in six of eight Fair Grounds starts, has worked three times since the Delta loss, including a five-furlong bullet Nov. 29.

“The only thought in my mind is whether this horse starting to tail coming up on age 6,” Stall said. “But he’s not giving us any indication that he is physically. If he goes out and does the same thing Saturday then maybe we’ll have to look at turning him out or something. We think we’re in good shape.”

Snug, winner of the Gold Cup at Delta, is back in Saturday’s race but has never won on the Fair Grounds main track and is 0-2 at the Classic’s 1 1/8-mile distance. Stall has another horse, Kissimmee Kyle, cross-entered in the Classic and the Turf. But order should be restored Saturday, with Star Guitar back on top.