Star Guitar bids for third success on rescheduled LA Champions Day
Of his five opponents, four have already succumbed to Star Guitar in the past -- IDE LIKE A DOUBLE (Ide); TAKIN' THE BULLET (Red Bullet); STAR PRODUCTION (Run Production), who was just worn down in last year's Classic; and ironically, Star Guitar's own half-brother, GRAND MINIT (Grand Slam). The new shooter is BREAK UP (Sunday Break [Jpn]), the winner of the 2008 Champions Day Juvenile who has captured a pair of stakes over other three-year-olds this season.
DESERT WHEAT (Wheaton), hero of the Louisiana Champions Day Turf S. in 2006, will tackle the about 1 1/16-mile test for the fourth straight year. The Bill Mott trainee finished third in 2007 and was just overhauled by WILDRALLY (Wild Event) here last year. Wildrally will be making his third consecutive appearance in the Turf, having placed second in 2007 before going one better in 2008. To continue his sterling record in this race, he must improve off his uncharacteristic seventh behind Desert Wheat in the Mr. Sulu S., the local prep. Also worth a look are the respective second and third from the Mr. Sulu, NOWANDFOREVERMORE (Sky Classic) and LEE'S SPIRIT (Leestown). The Turf has drawn a field of 10, including Ide Like a Double, who is cross-entered to the Turf and Classic.
The Louisiana Champions Day Sprint S. features a couple of past runners-up -- TORTUGA STRAITS (Gold Tribute), second in 2007, and MR. BARRACUDA (Rubiano), who chased Star Guitar last year. Neither enters the six-furlong scramble in particularly sharp form, opening the door for impressive stakes debutant FLASHY WISE CAT (Catastrophe), who dominated POWER SURGE (Holzmeister) in his allowance prep last time out for Troy Young. Other intriguing types in the 12-horse field are the Tom Amoss-trained MR. PORTER (Road Rush) and CHIEF JAY (Ile St. Louis) off the bench for Sam Breaux.
Sophomores appear to hold a strong hand in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint S., which has attracted 11 distaffers. MASTER LINK (Dance Master), queen of the 2008 Champions Day Lassie S. at this track and trip, has maintained her form well this campaign for Morris Nicks. A badly hampered third to YARE (Time Bandit) in her allowance tune-up, Master Link is eligible to turn the tables with a clean trip. SEVEN SEVENTYTHREE (Littlexpectations), the beaten favorite in last year's Lassie, has improved since joining Asmussen in March and could relish dropping back to six furlongs. CAJUN CONFERENCE (Gold Tribute) romped in an allowance last time out, and if the Eric Guillot pupil can repeat that effort on two weeks' rest, she would rate as a prime contender. Of the older brigade, CARMEL COFFEE (Holy Bull) merits respect off her runner-up effort to Grade 3 veteran Victorina (Delaware Township) in the Harvest S. at Fresno two back.
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