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Faucheux, Graham, Brittlyn Stables Take Home Meet Titles as Fair Grounds Closes Out 150th Season of Racing

Top Kentucky Derby contender Epicenter puts on a season-long show

 

(New Orleans, Louisiana – Tuesday, March 29, 2022) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots wrapped up its sesquicentennial (150th) season of racing on Sunday, March 27, and although the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida (late August/early September) offered plenty of challenges, fans were welcomed back to the facility as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed and business was solid due to the tremendous support from both horseman and bettors alike. The meet, which kicked off with the traditional Thanksgiving Day opener on November 26, included 80 racing days and it was highlighted, as always, by the 109thrunning of the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2).

“The damage to the barn area, parts of the facility and the loss of the infield tote board due to Hurricane Ida leading into our meet caused some challenges, but we are New Orleans, and we are resilient,” Fair Grounds senior director of racing Jason Boulet said. “We are extremely proud of everyone who came together to put out a great product on a day-in, day-out basis and as always, we are extremely grateful to the horseman for their continued support throughout the meet. The return of the fans after a difficult, prolonged stretch with the COVID-19 pandemic brought renewed energy to the racetrack, and we look forward to what should be a very special 2022-23 season.”

As the calendar turned over to 2022, Fair Grounds announced a 15% across the board purse increase and the meet reached its zenith on March 26, when the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) highlighted a robust 12-race card that included eight stakes. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter, who earlier in the meet won the inaugural Gun Runner Stakes and the Risen Star (G2) presented by Lamarque Ford, captured Fair Grounds’ signature event over Zozos and Pioneer of Medina, establishing a new track record for 1 3/16ths miles in the process. The Not This Time colt now storms into Louisville as one of the favorites for the 148th Run for the Roses for trainer Steve Asmussen, who hopes to add a first Kentucky Derby win to his amazing resume.

The co-featured TwinSires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) marked the sophomore debut of 2021 Two-Year-Old Filly Champion Echo Zulu, and the Eclipse Award winner did not disappoint, scoring a gate-to-wire victory over a hard-charging Hidden Connection to remain undefeated from five starts for owners L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen. It was a banner Louisiana Derby Day for Asmussen and jockey Joel Rosario, who teamed up to win five races on the card.

On the Louisiana Derby Day undercard, Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods’ Olympiad won the New Orleans Classic (G2) as the odds-on favorite under Junior Alvarado, nearly breaking the nine furlong track record in the process for trainer Bill Mott. Earlier in the meet, the son of Speightstown shaved .01 off the 1 1/16 mile track record when winning the Mineshaft (G3). In the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) presented by Horse Racing Nation, Two Emmys took the field gate to wire for Wolfe Racing, owner/trainer Hugh Robertson and the meet’s leading rider James Graham.

Louisiana native Ron Faucheux won his second consecutive training title with 43 wins, ten more than four-time champion and Brad Cox (33), who was named the Eclipse Award winner for the second consecutive year in 2021. 11-time local titlist Tom Amoss, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Chris Hartman and Bret Calhoun tied for third with 29 wins apiece, and Jose Camejo, who trains for the meet’s leading owner Brittlyn Stables, was next with 27.

Faucheux won three stakes at the meet, including a repeat score with fan favorite Monte Man in the Louisiana Champions’ Day Sprint. The meet highlights for Cox were his upset win with Turnerloose in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton and a victory by Mandaloun in the Louisiana (G3), a race in which he defeated arch rival Midnight Bourbon in the process. Amoss bagged a pair of turf stakes for 3-year-olds, winning the Black Gold with Dowagiac Chief and the Lacombe Memorial with Kneesnhips. Calhoun won four stakes with four different horses – Lovely Ride (Pago Hop), Who Took the Money (Louisiana Champions’ Day Turf), Excess Magic (Woodchopper) and Winning Romance (Shantel Lanerie Memorial). Hartman scored the 1,500th win of his career on February 4 with Ekati’s Verve, and his turf sprint mare Elle Z won three stakes at the meet – the Menard Memorial, the Aime Memorial and the Mardi Gras. Camejo took down a pair of stakes with Ova Charged (Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint and the Page Cortex) and added another with Behemah Star (Star Guitar).

With 72 wins, James Graham captured his fourth Fair Grounds riding title and third in a row. His top moment came when Call Me Midnight posted a 27-1 upset over eventual Risen Star and Louisiana Derby winner Epicenter in the Lecomte (G3) for trainer Keith Desormeaux. With a late surge, Mitchell Murrill, who won his 1,000th career race on February 6 aboard Yin Yang in what was his first ever mount for trainer Brad Cox, surged late for second with 62 wins. Colby Hernandez, who led the way most of the meet, wound up third with 60 scores. Brian Hernandez, Jr., who led all local riders in percentage with 22% and Reylu Gutierrez, in his first season at Fair Grounds, rounded out the top five with 53 and 51 wins respectively.

Adam Beschizza, who finished sixth in the standings, scored his 500th career win in North America on January 29 aboard the Joe Sharp-trained Holy Emperor. Graham and Marcelino Pedroza, Jr. were the only two riders to win as many as five races on a single card. Jack Gilligan and Gabriel Saez both returned from extended injury rehabs to score victories at the meet.

The owners’ race was dominated from start to finish by Evelyn Benoit’s Brittlyn Stable, who won 22 races at an amazing 33% clip, all with horses sired by her Clear Creek Farm’s stallion and Louisiana legend Star Guitar. It was the first local title for Brittlyn Stables, who nearly tripled their eight-win total from the 2020-21 meet. Allied Racing Stable of Chester Thomas finished second with 14 wins, and last year’s champ Godolphin checked in third with ten.

Following a break for the Christmas Holiday, Fair Grounds returned with a newly anointed “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” card on December 26. The program offered six stakes and featured a pair of brand-new added money events for the late season 2-year-olds, each offering 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively – the Gun Runner (won by Epicenter) and the Untapable (won by North County).

On Saturday, February 12, Fair Grounds hosted the second annual “New Vocations Day at the Races”. Hosted on the simulcast show by retired jockey Rosie Napravnik, a four-time local champion, and Fair Grounds personality Joe Kristufek, the event raised over $5,000 and awareness for all aspects of racehorse aftercare. In addition to on-line donations, several jockeys, trainers and owners contributed a percentage of that day’s earnings to help support the Louisiana division of New Vocations.

Buoyed by a track record handle recorded on a spectacular 14-race “Louisiana Derby Preview Day” card on February 19, handle and betting support were strong from opening day to closing day, no doubt helped by the increased popularity of the traditional Pick Five, following the elimination of the Black Gold 5 “jackpot” wager last season.

“We would like to thank all the horsemen for their continued support which makes Fair Grounds one of the premier winter destinations,” Fair Grounds racing secretary Scott Jones said. “With daily purses expected to noticeably increase and a strong stakes schedule, we are looking extremely forward to the 2022-23 Thoroughbred racing season.”

Leading Owner Brittlyn Stables Ends Season with a Bang

 

Evelyn Benoit & trainer Jose Camejo win two stakes on closing day

(New Orleans, Louisiana – Sunday, March 27, 2022) – In a banner season that saw her top the owner’s standings with 22 wins, eight more than her closest pursuer Allied Racing Stables, Evelyn Benoit’s Brittlyn Stables won a pair of $75,000 stakes on closing day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. She took the Page Cortez Memorial with Ova Charged, and fittingly, the Star Guitar with a son of that stallion, Behemah Star. Both horses are trained by Jose Camejo.

All 22 of Benoit’s meet wins were by horses sired by Star Guitar, whom she stands at Clear Creek Stud in Louisiana for $7,500 per live foal. With 27 wins from 100 starts, Camejo finished seventh in the trainer’s standings.

In the Page Cortez, which is named for the longtime Louisiana senator, the .60-1 favorite Ova Charged, dominated from start to finish. In what was her turf debut and first start since her Louisiana Champions Day victory in the Ladies Sprint on December 11, the 4-year-old daughter of Star Guitar was pressed early by Offspring through early fractions of 22.47 and 46.46. She put that foe away at the top of the stretch and was not menaced thereafter, stopping the timer in 1:04.44 for 5 ½ furlongs on firm turf with the rails down, even jumping a shadow in the stretch along the way. Defeated by seven lengths, Offspring held off Snowball by a nose for second.

It was the third consecutive win and fifth in six starts for Ova Charged, with her only defeat coming behind Super Sensational in the Victory Ride (G3) last summer at Belmont. The career bankroll now stands a $219,600.

One race later, Behemah Star scored a mild upset at 9.30-1 in the Star Guitar for Brittlyn Stables and Camejo, defeating a pair of Allied Racing Stable runners in Highland Creek and .90-1 favorite Who Took the Money. Earlier in the day, Chester Thomas (Allied Racing Stable) scored a stakes win of his own with trainer Bret Calhoun, taking the $75,000 Shantel Lanerie Memorial with his homebred Winning Romance.

Star Guitar’s Siredom Reigns with Jose Camejo at the Helm

 

 

 

 

Barn tour: Ova Charged, her full sister, and the Star Guitar clan moving forward

 

New Orleans, LA (December 17, 2021) – When the music comes on over the barn speakers, 3-year old gelding Behemah Star sticks his head out of his stall and begins to nod in rhythm. A first-level allowance winner last out in his fourth start, he has reason to be feeling good. As do his Star Guitar-sired stablemates. Off to a red-hot start and the leading trainer through the first three weeks of the meet, all eight victories are with Star Guitar’s band, including Ova Charged’s memorable victory in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint. There’s something about these Star Guitars. There’s something about Jose Camejo.

With the love Evelyn Benoit of Brittlyn Stables has for her sire Star Guitar and her drive to prove his worth, she wouldn’t have it any other way. And there is an underdog’s story to both sire and trainer. Winner of 24 out of 30 starts with earnings of $1,749,862 with a storied career that began in 2007, Star Guitar’s two starts outside of Louisiana were loses in graded stakes races: the Alysheba (G3) at Churchill Downs and the Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star. Never once the runner-up in any of his races, breeders often pass on Star Guitar’s $7,500 stud fee, which only fuels Benoit’s drive for success.

“Star Guitar is a gift from heaven,” Benoit said. “I’ve had so much faith in this stallion, I don’t want to breed to anyone else. I’ve had the best, including three American Pharoah’s, and they can’t beat my Star Guitar’s.”

Originally from Venezuela, Jose Camejo did not originally chart a course to being one of Fair Grounds’ most successful trainers. A multiple stakes winning jockey, between 2003 and 2012, Jose Camejo won 130 races with lifetime earnings $1,849,882. After a spill at Evangeline Downs where he broke his neck, at age 33 Camejo decided to become a trainer. Since 2013 he has won at a rate of 21%: 1,261 starts 262 wins with a total earnings of $6,480,971.

On a daily basis at Fair Grounds, Camejo is competing against some of our sport’s best in Brad Cox, Steve Asmussen, Al Stall, Tom Amoss, Bret Calhoun and Mike Stidham. His success includes the tutelage of Minit to Stardom–Star Guitar’s leading progeny in terms of earnings of $536,180, winning 9 times out of 14 starts–another bred by Benoit.

“I know she is a very competitive woman, me as well,” Camejo said. “Being from another country and being competitive with bigger trainers, some of the best trainers in the country–you can’t know how much this (her faith) means to me.”

Often found in the best jockeys, his confidence and connection to horses carries over into his presence, approach, and care for his animals. His horses look beautiful in the stalls, the paddock, and kicking home in the stretch. Take positivity, confidence and couple that with Jose Camejo and team’s focus around the barn and you can’t help but wonder what’s next for these runners.

“Everybody is feeling good. I’m really happy with the barn right now,”Camejo said. “The team–everything. We came out with a different attitude, and we are focused on what we do. We are gonna have a good meet. I’m now in the barn everyday. I used to have an assistant, but I don’t have anybody right now. This is good because it keeps me more focused and on top of what we are doing here. I think this is one of the best teams I have ever had. Everybody is focused on what we are doing. We are in good shape, we really are.”

Let’s start at the top: Ova Charged. A winner by 9+ lengths against Louisiana-bred optional claiming rivals on November 28 at Fair Grounds, she proved up to the task against much better company less than two weeks later in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, defeating G2 winner Cilla in a race that lived up to its billing. A slow start put Ova Charged far behind and it took a fearless heart coming home to win in the final strides. Now 4 for 5, with her one loss a second behind the multiple graded stakes winning Souper Sensational  in the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont, the 3-year old by Star Guitar and out of dam Charged Cotton will take a break now and gear back up for the races in 2022.

“She is doing fantastic,” Camejo said. “We don’t have anything specific in mind. We’re not going to run her right now. We were asking for a lot. I’m glad everything worked out and now I will just wait for her to tell me when she is ready. She will take her time in the barn. We might bring her to my house for a week.”

But for fans who can’t wait for that classy bloodline to reemerge, do know that Ova Charged has a full sister: 2-year old filly Charged Temp. Winner of a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park in July with a 71 Bris speed figure, she has tried two stakes and two allowances since, only to come up short, so what’s the plan?

I walked with Jose, from stall to stall.

“I am gonna try something different this time,” Camejo said of Charged Temp. “I am going to try her on the turf. I don’t think she liked the dirt much. But I think she is going to be better on the turf. Ova Charged is one of a kind, she runs on everything. But this one is more for the turf.”

Camejo’s face lights up when he gets the chance to talk about his 2-year old filly Moment to Dream.

“She is gonna win next time,” Camejo said “She got tired last time (11-27) . She needed a race. Next time she is going to be tough to beat. She is one of my favorites.”

Speaking of the head-bobbing Behemah Star, Camejo said they’re going to stretch him out to a mile next time out.

“He came out great,” Camejo said. “I like this one a lot. This is one of the horses of my future. He’s still a little green, but every time he races he gets more mature, better and better.”

Then there is the 3-year old recent maiden winner (12-4), gelding Moment Of Stardom:

“He’s running amazing–he surprised me,” Camejo said. “I knew he was gonna run good but not that great. He really exploded in the last 1/16th, he exploded. He has found himself now. He has figured out how to run already. We are keeping him in great shape. He came back great. We are waiting for the next race and see how that goes.”

The Four 4-year old gelding Win Ya Win, winner of second-level allowance at Fair Grounds last out, appears to be headed in the right direction as well.

“Came out great and is ready for the next,” Camejo said.

The 3-year old filly Satisfy U, 2nd last out at Fair Grounds in her second maiden claiming try:

“Came back good, as well,” Camejo said “The horse has been running good, and she has improved a lot. We have been trying to be focused and will keep her at that level. She’s another one that is getting ready for the next race. I think she is gonna win next time.”

3-year old filly Rue La La, 2nd last out at Fair Grounds in a first-level allowance:

“She ran a hell of a race and she gives you everything on the track,” Camejo said. “She came back good. We are going to give her a little bit of time. And then bring her back 100% in good shape and she is another one I expect to win.”

After the fury of eight victories through the first three weekends, Camejo is the first to give credit to the owner of the majority of horses in his barn, Evelyn Benoit.

“She has given me one of the biggest opportunities in my life,” Camejo said. “I take it very seriously and feel very blessed. I’m glad that everything worked out good and the horses are running good. I make sure (when I enter them) that the horses are going to be right there.”

The respect is mutual.

“I can’t say enough about Jose Camejo and what he’s done for me,” Benoit said following Ova Charged’s signature win. “He’s put me on the map on the East Coast and nationally. Star Guitar babies have won in California, New York and Kentucky. We are just so pleased. It’s not easy to do this.”

His focus, his work ethic, and his hands-on approach are key factors to Camejo’s success as well.

“I might not win the standings (title), I might not have the material,” Camejo said. “But I can promise you right now we are going to fight and it will be a tough fight. I know every horse I bring to the race is going to be 1, 2, 3–right there. I am the first one in the barn in the morning and the last one to leave. I am on top of this.”

As I stood next to Ova Charged and company I couldn’t help but feel similar to Camejo: in the presence of greatness and somewhat as an outsider. As someone who knows little of horses beyond the PPs, I was hesitant to get close and give her a rub on the nose. What Camejo told me speaks to his approach and position in this sport, and no doubt extends from his days as a jockey.

“Same as when you are riding,” Camejo said. “Don’t show fear when you’re by them.”

 

 

LTBA Announces 2020 Champions; Names No Parole 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year

LTBA Announces 2020 Champions; Names No Parole 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year

 

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to announce the selection of Grade 1 Woody Stephens S. winner, No Parole as 2020 Louisiana Horse of the Year.

 

After breaking his maiden in his only start as a juvenile in 2019, No Parole (Violence-Plus One) won a Fair Grounds Allowance race by 13 1/4 lengths in his first start at 3, followed by a 6 1/2 length victory in the Louisiana Premier Night Prince at Delta Downs.  In June, he won the G1 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont defeating Echo Town in the process. He had four wins from seven 2020 starts. His year end earnings of $270,866 were the highest of any Louisiana Bred runner last year.

 

Along with overall Louisiana Horse of the Year, the following have been named 2020 Louisiana Champions:

 

2020 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly

BIG TIME

Astrology-Kitty’s Got Class

Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson

Owner: Valene Farms

Trainer: Dallas Stewart

 

2020 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding

JIMMY TWO TIMES

Half Ours-Sammy Van Ammy

Breeder: Larry Romero & Cradle Song Farm

Owner: Andrus J. Pellerin

Trainer: Keith G. Bourgeois

 

2020 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly

OUR LOST LOVE
Half Ours-Lost Love Baby

Breeder: Tri-Star Racing, LLC

Owner: Tri-Star Racing, LLC

Trainer: Joseph M. Foster

 

2020 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding

NO PAROLE

Violence-Plus One

Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms.

Owner: Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin

Trainer: Thomas M. Amoss

 

2020 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly or Mare

MARIAH’S GALAXY 

Greeley’s Galaxy-Black Mariah

Breeder: Margie K. Averett

Owner: Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte

Trainer: Victor Arceneaux

 

2020 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Male

MONTE MAN  

Custom For Carlos- Sarah’s My Angel

Breeder: Val C. Murrell

Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing

Trainer: Ron Faucheux

 

2020 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year

SITTIN AT THE BAR

Into Mischief-Fast Liner

Owner:  Brett Brinkman and P. Dale Ladner

 

2020 Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year

STAR GUITAR

Quiet American-Minit Towinit by Malagra

Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc

 

2020 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards

BRITTLYN STABLE INC.

 

2020 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners

ADCOCK’S RED RIVER FARM & MONTGOMERY EQUINE PARTNERSHIP

 

Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred runners as well as Broodmare of the Year were selected by LTBA memberships votes. Louisiana Horse of the Year is selected by the LTBA Board of Directors. Statistics were used to determine all remaining category winners.

LTBA Announces 2019 Champions; Names Chimney Rock 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year


Chimney Rock pictured winning the 2019 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile. Hodges Photo.
LTBA Announces 2019 Champions; Names Chimney Rock 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to announce the selection of Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint [G2] contender, Chimney Rock as 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year.
A two-year-old of 2019, Chimney Rock (Artie Schiller – What’s Your Point) won a Maiden Special Weight race at Saratoga on September 1st  and ran second by a head just six days later in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf. In his next start, Chimney Rock was a half-length from victory in the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland. November 1st, he came close to winning the $1,000,000 G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, crossing the finish line just three-quarters of a length behind Four Wheel Drive. Making the switch to a dirt track for the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds, Chimney Rock gained his first stakes win. From seven 2019 starts, he had two firsts, three seconds and a third. His year end earnings of $369,025 were the highest of any Louisiana Bred runner last year.

Along with overall Louisiana Horse of the Year, the following have been named 2019 Louisiana champions :

2019 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly
Our Lost Love
Half Ours-Lost Love Baby
Breeder/Owner: Tri Star Racing (Richard Robertson, Alan Dean and Mike Nash)
Trainer: Joey Foster
2019 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding
Chimney Rock
Artie Schiller-What’s Your Point
Breeder: Stargazers LLC & Clear Creek Stud LLC
Owner: Three Diamonds Farm
Trainer: Michael Maker
2019 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly
Net A Bear
Awesome Bet-Edacious Reality
Breeder: Lora Pitre & Elaine Carroll
Owner: Maximo Lamarche & Federico Deltoro
Trainer: Allen Landry

 

2019 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding
Shang    
Shanghai Bobby-Humble Janet
Breeder: Cloyce C. Clark Jr.
Owner: William & Corrine Heiligbrodt
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

 

2019 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly or Mare
Minit To Stardom 
Star Guitar-Wild About Marie
Breeder/Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.
Trainer: Jose Camejo

 

2019 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Male
Laughingsaintssong 
Songandaprayer-Laughing Saint
Breeder: J.E. & Bunny Jumonville
Owner: Rodney J. Verret
Trainer: Allen Landry

 

2019 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year
Wild About Marie
Wildcat Heir-Joyful Wager by Valid Wager
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.

 

2019 Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year
Star Guitar
Quiet American-Minit Towinit by Malagra
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc

 

2019 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards
Brittlyn Stable Inc.

 

2019 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners
James McIngvale

 

Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred runners as well as Broodmare of the Year were selected by LTBA memberships votes. Louisiana Horse of the Year is selected by the LTBA Board of Directors. Statistics were used to determine all remaining category winners.

 

Originally, winners were to be announced at the LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet planned for Louisiana Derby weekend at Fair Grounds Racetrack and Slots in New Orleans. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the LTBA Board of Directors made the decision to forgo the event this year.

 

Minit To Stardom Awarded Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Win

Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf
Fair Grounds, 12-14-19, 6 furlongs
Three Year Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Bred, Fillies and Mares, $100,000

Minit To Stardom_F_12-14-2019
Minit To Stardom, with Alex Cintron on board, wins the 14th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

MINIT TO STARDOM
Star Guitar–Wild About Marie
Breeder: Brittlyn Stables, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Jose M. Camejo
Jockey: Alex Cintron

2nd
Midnight Fantasy
Midnight Lute–St. Jean
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Carl R. Moore Management LLC
Trainer: Joe Sharp
Jockey: Adam Beschizza

3rd
Ours to Run
Half Ours–Brown Eyed Baby
Breeder: Clifford Grum
Owner: Colonel Thoroughbreds LLC
Trainer: J. Larry Jones
Jockey: Gabriel Saez

 

Minit to Stardom capped a three-race win streak with a 1 1/2length victory in the July 24 GII Honorable Miss H. She was second in the Sept. 22 GII Gallant Bloom H. and most recently captured a Laurel allowance Nov. 8. The bay filly pressed Midnight Fantasy through fractions of :21.64 and :44.67. Minit to Stardom briefly got a head in front in upper stretch and, as Midnight Fantasy battled back from the inside, was bumped as that foe drifted out. Strides later, Midnight Fantasy once again drifted out and impeded Minit to Stardom. The pacesetter ultimately was two lengths in front at the wire, but was disqualified and placed second as Minit to Stardom was promoted to the victory.

Minit to Stardom Wires Honorable Miss at 20-1

Homebred Star Guitar filly extended win streak July 24 at Saratoga Race Course.

 

Brittlyn Stable’s homebred Minit to Stardom went straight to the front in the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) at Saratoga Race Course July 24 and, despite being the longest shot on the board at 20-1, the Louisiana-bred filly led every step and pulled clear in the stretch to win her third consecutive race since being transferred to trainer Jose Camejo.

“(Jockey) Alex (Cintron) and I talked all week about this race. He really knows the horse, and our game plan was to let her break, get comfortable, and for her to be where she wants to be,” Camejo said. “She was really sharp today and did the rest.

 

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Benoit’s Faith in Star Guitar Pays Off at Saratoga

As the hours wound down on a remarkable birthday July 24 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Evelyn Benoit took a moment to reflect. The owner of Brittlyn Stable has believed in her stallion Star Guitar  from the start of his stud career, and Wednesday Benoit watched at Saratoga Race Course as Minit to Stardom dashed across the line in the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) to become the Louisiana-bred’s first graded stakes winner.

Not only did the 4-year-old filly deliver a 20-1 upset, but earlier in the day her 3-year-old brother Star Fitzstall broke his maiden at Delaware Park, making Benoit’s birthday one to remember.

Read BloodHorse Article

Louisiana-bred Star Guitar racemare, Wild About Star, Scores Open Stakes Win on the Pimlico Undercard

RACE 9 THE VERY ONE STAKES-97
Louisiana-bred Wild About Star wins The Very One Stakes at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. Steve Queen photo.

Brittlyn Stable’s Wild About Star, racing for the first time outside of her native Louisiana, came with a sweeping move on the outside and stormed down the center of the track to pass favored Jo Jo Air to win Saturday’s $100,000 The Very One at Pimlico Race Course.

RACE 9 THE VERY ONE STAKES-115
Evelyn Benoit, makes her way to the winners circle following the victory of her homebred Wild About Star in The Very One Stakes. Steve Queen photo.

“I am wild about Star!” said winning owner Evelyn Benoit. “It took me about 40 years to get a stallion. Star Guitar is the Louisiana stallion of the year, and I own the mare and we have a lot of babies.  This is what I’ve been trying to do, not only promote Louisiana racing but horse racing for everyone, to show that Louisiana and women and women in my position can do this. It was very difficult. I never had a horse super enough to be a stallion. Gosh, it’s just a dream. To win an open stakes here in this beautiful state of Maryland, it means everything to me. I’m so thrilled, couldn’t be any happier if I won the Preakness. You have no idea, this is like the biggest dream in my life come true.”

The 20th running of the five-furlong The Very One for fillies and mares on the grass was among nine stakes, five graded, worth $2.8 million on a 14-race program highlighted by the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Ridden by Daniel Centeno, Wild About Star ($13) won in 56.93 seconds over a firm turf course.

It was the first career stakes win for Louisiana-bred Wild About Star, a 5-year-old Star Guitar mare making her first start for trainer Jose Camejo. Wild About Star chased even-money favorite Jo Jo Air through a quarter-mile in 22.88 seconds before forging a short lead on the turn and pulling away to a 1 ¾-length triumph. Jo Jo Air stayed up for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Misericordia. Eye On Berlin finished fourth.

Wild About Star has six wins from 15 career starts and is 5-for-11 lifetime going five furlongs on grass.

“(Benoit) wanted to promote the stallion all over the place, so she decided to run (Wild About Star) here after she worked,” said Camejo. “She was feeling really good. She was ready for this race.”

Benoit said the mare’s success is a big boost for Star Guitar, who stands at Clear Creek Stud in Louisiana, where his 2019 fee was $7,500.

“She’s out of his first crop, and I’ve wanted to have this opportunity in front of a large crowd to show that in Louisiana we can breed nice horses,” the owner/breeder said.

 

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