10/13/2009 11:00PM

Star Guitar looks tough to handle


In Star Guitar's only start at Delta Downs, he drew out to a seven-length win in the $200,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship in February. Friday night, he will attempt to keep his local record perfect. Star Guitar is set to start as the favorite in the Gold Cup, one of two Louisiana-bred stakes worth $100,000 on the card at Delta Downs.

The Gold Cup is the co-feature with the Magnolia for fillies and mares.

The Gold Cup, at a mile, drew a strong group of eight older males, including multiple stakes winners Ide Like a Double, Tortuga Straits, and Star Production. But the horse to beat is Star Guitar, who enters the Gold Cup off a pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Star Guitar put up a 105 back on Aug. 1, when he won the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Classic at Louisiana Downs. One start later, he earned a 101 for a win in the $150,000 Evangeline Mile at Evangeline Downs on Aug. 15. The Gold Cup will be his first start in two months, but he has been working regularly for trainer Al Stall Jr.

"It's not a layoff for him," Stall said. "We prefer seven or eight weeks between races and he'll have the same amount of time between this one and Champions Day at Fair Grounds. We squeezed on him a little bit this summer. If you notice, he ran back in 14 days from the Louisiana Downs race to the Evangeline Mile. This was just the next race on the schedule."

Star Guitar will break from post 2 under Curt Bourque. He could get a stalking trip behind a few rivals, including Tortuga Straits, who stretches out to two turns following a runner-up finish in the $50,000 Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs.

Brittlyn and Stall will also have a top contender in the Magnolia in Miss Bean Wah. She signaled her intent to be a player in the statebred stakes ranks last out, when she missed by a head to Louisiana-bred horse of the year Superior Storm in the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff. That race was Aug. 1, and was just Miss Bean Wah's second race since March, when she won an allowance at Fair Grounds. Stall credited the owners of Brittlyn Stable for giving Miss Bean Wah time to develop in 2009.

"She was given a chance to come along," he said. "I'm very much looking forward to running her. I think she's a nice horse."

Bourque has the mount on Miss Bean Wah.