2006 Champions Day Turf winner Desert Wheat, is back for another try in 2008.

2006 Champions Day Turf winner Desert Wheat, is back for another try in 2008.

Lou Hodges, Jr.

Former Winners Top La. Champions Day

The 11-race program takes place Dec. 13 at Fair Grounds

Nine horses who have won during previous Louisiana Champions Day programs return to Fair Grounds in an attempt to repeat as the track plays host to the event’s 18th renewal Dec. 13.

The 11-race Louisiana Champions Day card, exclusively for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses bred in Louisiana, offers $1.1 million in purses, headlined by the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

The day’s highlight may be the $100,000 Champions Day Turf, with a projected duel between 2006 winner Desert Wheat and 2007 winner Willist.  Desert Wheat, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, is 4-1 on this weekend’s Turf morning line, while Willist gets in that race at 12-1.

Last year’s Champions Day Juvenile hero, Star Guitar, is expected to run in the $100,000 Sprint as the 7-2 morning line favorite.

Superior Storm, winner of the Champions Day Lassie last season, returns with the 9-5 morning line favorite’s mantle in the $100,000 Ladies.

Tortuga Flats, heroine of the 2005 Lassie, is cross-entered but serves as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line of the Ladies Sprint.

Meteor Impact, winner of the 2002 Champions Day Juvenile and 2006 Sprint, has only made three starts since that victory two years ago and is 12-1 on the morning line of this year’s Sprint.  Should Meteor Impact win, he would become the third Thoroughbred to win three times on Champions Day, joining Mr. Sulu and Dixie Poker Ace in that select company.

First post for Saturday’s program is 12:30 p.m. CST.