09/17/2009 11:00PM

Statebreds in Star Guitar's future

Lynn Roberts
Star Guitar will be pointed to a series of stakes in Louisiana, starting with the Gold Cup at Delta.

BOSSIER CITY, La. - There are lots of stakes opportunities out there for an older horse like Star Guitar, who in his last two starts has paired up triple-digit Beyer Figures while winning the $150,000 Evangeline Mile at Evangeline Downs and the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Classic at Louisiana Downs.

For the immediate future, his connections have decided to take a route that will capitalize on his status as a Louisiana-bred. Star Guitar, who is arguably the best older male in his division, has three significant statebred stakes starts penciled in over the next several months, according to Al Stall Jr., who trains the horse for Brittlyn Stables.

First up is the $100,000 Gold Cup at a mile at Delta Downs on Oct. 16. It is for 3-year-olds and up bred in Louisiana. Star Guitar's next major goal would be the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race for statebreds that runs Dec. 12 at Fair Grounds. From there, he would defend his title in the $200,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship at 1 1/16 miles for statebreds Feb. 6 at Delta.

"That's the tentative game plan," said Stall.

Star Guitar, 4, burst onto the Louisiana-bred scene back in 2007, when he won his maiden and the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds. He has won six more stakes since, for a 9-for-12 career mark and $558,458.

But it has been in the past two months that the horse has taken his game to a new level. Star Guitar, based at Louisiana Downs, won the Louisiana Cup Classic on Aug. 1 by more than eight lengths, to earn a career-best Beyer Figure of 105. He then came back one start later and defeated open company in the Evangeline Mile in his last start Aug. 15, earning a 101 Beyer.

Sale draws more than 400 yearlings

There are 441 yearlings cataloged to the upcoming fall auction put on by the Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana. Sponsored by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, the sale was expanded to two days this year in order to accommodate an influx of entries. It will be held on Sept. 28-29 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, La. The auction will begin each day at 10 a.m. Central.

There are a host of stallions represented by offspring in the sale, among them Candy Ride, City Zip, Cozzene, Exchange Rate, Honour and Glory, In Excess, Leestown, Leroidesanimaux, Mutakddim, Tactical Cat, Victory Gallop, and Woodman.

Also represented by a yearling from his first crop is The Daddy, the upset winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in 2005. A filly, the yearling is a half-sister to stakes winner Are We Dreamin. She is being consigned by Ricky Courville.

Other consignors set to sell include Channon Farm, Clear Creek Stud, Elite Thoroughbreds, and Legacy Bloodstock.

The Breeders Sales Company will also put on a mixed auction next month, set for Oct. 17 at Serenity Farm in Folsom, La. In addition, the company announced through the yearling sales catalog that plans are being made for a 2-year-olds in training sale at Louisiana Downs in the spring of 2010.

Eramia at home in Louisiana

For the past several years, jockey Richard Eramia has ranked among the leading riders in Texas and Oklahoma. But this past spring he made a significant circuit move. Eramia came to Louisiana. He decided to base at Louisiana Downs for the first time in his career, and is in the midst of a strong season. Eramia ranks fifth in the standings with 42 wins through Thursday, and has mount earnings of $839,765.

"Things have gone well," said Eramia, a five-time leading rider in Uruguay who won his first race in North America in 2005 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Following the close of the Louisiana Downs meet next month, Eramia said he plans to continue to ride in Louisiana. He will be based for the first time at Fair Grounds.

* There are several competitive races on the card Sunday, topped by a $20,000 optional claiming race for fillies and mares at a mile on turf. Top contenders in the eighth race, which drew 12, include Dame de Mardi Gras and The Difference. Also set to start is Sister Ticket, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Happy Ticket.