Louisiana legend Mobile Bay continued his domination against homebred stakes company when taking the $75,000 Star Guitar Stakes – the final stakes event for the 2017-18 Winter Meet.
Guided by regular rider Diego Saenz, Mobile Bay broke a step slow and was three length wide around the first turn while sitting just off of pacesetter Morning Mischief who set opening fractions of 24.65 and 48.23. Nubin Ridgewas just a length behind in second while Mobile Bay tracked in third. Approaching the far turn, Mobile Bay began to inch his way closer and took command at the top of the stretch. Mageez closed late to get second but could not catch the winner, who won the Star Guitar Stakes by two lengths in a time of 1:43.79.
“Once he was in there he didn't break that well, but at the half mile pole I was in a good position to win,” Saenz said. “He's one of the biggest horses I've ever ridden.”
Mobile Bay returned $3.80, $3.00 and $2.10 while Mageez returned $6.60 and $4.00. Underpressure completed the trifecta and brought back $3.00.
Rounding out the field were Paddy O'Lionel, Grande Basin, Morning Mischief, Theoryintopractice and Nubin Ridge.
A victory in the Star Guitar Stakes added $45,000 to Mobile Bay's career earnings which now sit at $1,243,440. In addition, the Star Guitar Stakes also was his fifth consecutive stakes win. He scored in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic and the Delta Downs Premier Night Championship Stakes, both of which he won for the second consecutive year. Other career highlights include wins against open company, which took place in the Gr. II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and triumphs in New Mexico's Sunland Park Handicap and Zia Park Derby and their namesake tracks.
Trainer Victor Arceneaux, who broke Star Guitar as a yearling, was pleased with the effort and stated that Mobile Bay would likely try and continue his domination on the Louisiana-bred circuit in the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Classic at Evangeline Downs next out, which takes place on May 26.
“Going into the race I was extremely concerned having Grande Basin and Underpressure in the race,” Arceneaux said. “He beat both of them by a nose. I don't go into a race over confident when you beat a horse by a nose. The way the race set up today he broke a little slow and Diego was able to rate him and get him to settle in. He had a much stronger finish. He didn't make me sweat at the wire this time.”
Mobile Bay is by Lone Star Special out of the Out of Place mare Tranquility Bay. He was bred in Louisiana by the owners, Tigertail Ranch.
The Star Guitar Stakes is named in honor of the all-time richest Louisiana-bred who also was a four-time Louisiana Horse of the Year. He earned $1,749,862 in career earnings while finding the winner's circle 24 times in 30 career starts. Such wins included multiple victories in the state of Louisiana's premier races for homebreds, including the Louisiana Champions Day Classic, Delta Downs, Premier Night Championship Stakes, Evangeline Mile Handicap. He currently stands at Clear Creek Farm in Folsom, La. for $6,500 and has produced stakes winners Testing One Two, Minit To Stardom and Grade I placed Givemeaminit.
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