02/06/2011 12:28PM

Star Guitar wins third straight Premier Night Championship


Loss? What loss? Did Star Guitar really lose a Louisiana-bred stakes race last November at Delta? It says on his running lines that he finished fourth at odds of 1-2 in the Gold Cup on Nov. 5, but nothing about Star Guitar’s previous racing experience, nor his two starts since the Gold Cup loss, offers any kind of key for deciphering the defeat. And after performing his typical dissection of statebred-restricted stakes foes during Louisiana Champions Day on Dec. 11 at Fair Grounds, Star Guitar did the same thing in the $200,000 Premier Night Championship on Saturday night at Delta, drawing off in the stretch for a 1 3/4-length win, his third straight victory in the race.

Racing under jockey Corey Lanerie for the first time in his career, Star Guitar settled into fifth early in the running of the six-horse Championship. The fractions up front were solid, not scorching, with Kissimmee Kyle and Snug alternating through splits of 23.67 seconds, 47.71, and 1:12.81. Two-thirds of the way down the backstretch, there came Star Guitar with a steady outside run. He reached contention midway around the far turn, came into the stretch with a full head of steam, and wore down Snug through the short stretch run. Winning time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.15, with the winner paying just $2.40. Snug finished seven lengths clear of third-place Lee’s Spirit.

Star Guitar, a 6-year-old homebred by Quiet American out of Minit Towinit and owned by Brittlyn Stables, has now won 16 of his 22 career starts and has totally dominated the Louisiana-bred older-horse, dirt-route ranks for years. Saturday proved no exception, with Star Guitar giving the distinct impression there are more Louisiana-bred stakes wins in his future.

Matron: Speedacious wins in record time

In the $100,000 Premier Night Sprint, My Star Runner set a track record for five furlongs when he was timed in 57.08. That standard stood for all of 92 minutes.

As sharp as My Star Runner ($3.40) looked rallying up the fence for trainer Cody Autrey and jockey Miguel Mena, Speedacious was even flashier, whipping out to a clear early lead and never looking back in the $100,000 Matron, which she won by 6 1/2 lengths over Cajun Conference. Speedacious’s clocking of 56.73 easily bested the recently established record for the distance.

Speedacious flashed unusual talent winning the 2009 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds, but she had struggled to attain that performance level in six subsequent starts. It was only when trainer Bret Calhoun turned Speedacious back to a short sprint Jan. 15 at Fair Grounds that the filly truly found herself again, and she showed Saturday night that there are few – if any – horses in Louisiana with her five-furlong speed.

Prince: Su Casa G Casa holds off challenge

Su Casa G Casa won a stirring edition of the $100,000 Prince for 3-year-old males, desperately holding off a late charge from Loranger Native to win by a neck. Su Casa G Casa, another member of the Calhoun stable, now has won four of seven starts, with second-place finishes in his three losses. One of those had come at the hands of Loranger Native last summer at Louisiana Downs, where both horses were making their career debut, but Su Casa G Casa ($5.20) established a clear lead into the stretch and was too far ahead for closing Loranger Native to run him down in the short Delta stretch. Winning time for the seven furlongs around two turns was 1:25.02.

Distaff: Shezacrazygirl finds room to run

Shezacrazygirl found room into Delta’s short stretch run after finding herself locked up on the inside for most of the $150,000 Distaff. The space to operate was all Shezacrazygirl needed. Finally getting out of her inside pocket, Shezacrazygirl ($11.40) rallied strongly to win the $150,000 Distaff by 2 1/2 lengths over favored Superior Storm. Al Stall, who later would saddle Star Guitar to victory, trains Shezacrazygirl for the Red Oak Stable.

The winner, ridden by Lanerie, hadn’t raced since July but now is 4 for 4 in two-turn races against Louisiana-bred competition. Superior Storm, the 2-1 favorite, led most of the way but could not hold off the winner.

* Cat’s Production, a 12-1 shot, tracked the pace and comfortably won the $100,000 Starlet for 3-year-old fillies.