Star Guitar

Star Guitar

Courtesy of Evangeline Downs

Star Guitar to Stand at Clear Creek Stud

Star Louisiana Horse of the Year to stand at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, La.

Three-time Louisiana-Bred Horse of the Year Star Guitar  is retiring from an outstanding racing career to enter stud at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, La. The son of Quiet AmericanMinit Towinit, by Malagra, earned $1,749,862 while winning 24 of 30 lifetime starts from ages 2 to 7, making him the top earning Louisiana-bred in history. He placed twice, including a third place finish in the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

Star Guitar was voted Louisiana-bred champion five times. As a 2-year-old, he was Louisiana-bred champion juvenile colt or gelding. At ages 4 through 7 he was named Louisiana-bred older male and selected Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2011. He won his first stakes at 2, the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile, and won every major Louisiana-bred stakes race he entered, racking up 22 stakes wins. A stakes winner at ages 2 through 7, he set a new track record at Evangeline Downs in his final start going 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.71.

"Certainly we are honored and pleased to have Star Guitar retire to Clear Creek Stud after a lengthy and stellar career," said Val Murrell, manager of Clear Creek Stud. "This has been a serious racehorse for all in Louisiana to enjoy. (Owners) Maurice and Evelyn Benoit along with trainer Al Stall, Jr., and assistant Pam Fitzgerald, did an absolutely magnificent job managing the horse's career. I think Evelyn and Maurice have decided that it's time to give Star Guitar his shot in the breeding shed and we are all excited about those prospects and a bright future.

"He is grand looking—has been phenomenal to watch, sometimes making things look easy, sometimes showing absolute true grit like being headed early in the recent Louisiana Legends Night Classic at Evangeline Downs, and basically re-breaking at mid-stretch to go on and win by three-quarters of a length in a new track record time," Murrell said.

Stall admits "there is going to be a void in our stable. He's been good to us every day of his life. Star Guitar always delivered. He was very low maintenance; he was always healthy; he never needed any injections. I am pleased that he is retiring sound. I will miss him, but he is going to a good home; back to the place he was born. I am happy for him."
Assistant trainer Pam Fitzgerald said: "The best word to describe Star is 'special'. Very few horses stay at the top of their game five straight years, he is a great looking horse with a great mind. He is just top class."
Owner Evelyn Benoit loves her "Star" without reserve.
"He is absolutely wonderful inside and out and has such a unique personality," Benoit said. "He was always so excited about getting on the track, and could come off the track and be friendly and personable. He is the most amazing animal my husband, Maurice, and I have ever owned.
Star Guitar has been a true ambassador for the Louisiana breeding program. The Benoits raised his dam in their back yard and never imagined that she would produce such a "dream of a lifetime. He put his heart and soul into every race," Benoit said.
The Benoits had offers to stand Star Guitar in Kentucky and Texas but are adamant about keeping him in Louisiana.
"I want to promote the Louisiana racing and breeding programs as much as any one person can," Benoit said.
Stud fee and conditions will be announced at a later date.