Touchuponastar Shines in LA Champions Day Classic
Set-Hut’s Touchuponastar overcame a somewhat tardy break Dec. 10 in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic and led through all calls, then poured it on late to win by 4 3/4 lengths over Behemah Star in the Saturday feature at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The Star Guitar -sired winner (as well as the runner-up) showed plenty of energy in the stretch, while odds-on favorite Who Took the Money settled for third by a half-length.
Touchuponastar, b, 3/g
Star Guitar — Touch Magic, by Lion Heart
Owner: Set-Hut, LLC (Jake C. Delhomme)
Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms, LLC (LA)
Trainer: Jeff Delhomme
Jockey: Timothy Thornton
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.
Star Guitar stands at Clear Creek Stud, LLC for $7,500 (2023).
TEXAUG2020 • $15,000 • Consignor: Eaton Sales • Buyer: Set-Hut / Jake Delhomme.
Touchuponastar, a lightly raced-3-year-old trained by Jeff Delhomme, ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.66 to collect his first career stakes win. Timothy Thornton rode the winner for the Delhomme family: Jerry, Jeff, and ex-National Football League quarterback Jake.
After pausing for an instant after the gates flew upon, Touchuponastar recovered quickly, hustling by the early challenger Highland Creek in the early going to set fractions of :24.55 and :49.34 in the 1 1/8-mile race. He received no pressure as Highland Creek kept 1 1/2 lengths back to his outside. Behemah Star made his move to take over in second through the final bend but never menaced Touchuponastar, who extended his lead to six lengths at the midstretch call.
Who Took the Money stalked wide in sixth before beginning a late move that never threatened the winner but was game enough to beat Ballinonabudjet in a show photo. The rest finished well back.
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The winner’s final time was 1:50.66 on a fast track.
“We knew he was a special horse all along,” Thornton said. “We knew we were coming here to beat Who Took the Money, but when I was able to get that first quarter as slow as I was going, I thought (trainer Bret) Calhoun’s horse (Highland Creek) was going to pressure me. When they left me alone, I knew I was going to have plenty left, and he was definitely able to show how special he is today.”
Touchuponastar was bred in Louisiana by Coteau Grove Farms out of the Lion Heart mare Touch Magic . He improved his record to 4-1-1 from six starts, with earnings of $163,100. He returned $12.40 on a $2 win ticket as the 5-1 third betting choice in the field of seven older males.
“He’s young and has a big future ahead of him,” Delhomme said. “We were leaning towards the Classic the entire time (instead of the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint). We didn’t run in the prep because earlier in his career, we swung back in three weeks and we think that ended up being a little too fast. It opens a lot of doors for us to be able to get nine furlongs, even outside Louisiana-bred horses.”
Other black-type Thoroughbred stakes winners on the Louisiana Champions Day program included Kevin Stedman’s Late September in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile; Mansfield Racing’s Free Drop Maddy in the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie; Brittlyn Stables’ Ova Charged in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint; Thomas Galvin’s A G`s Charlotte in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff; and Kendel Standlee’s Big Chopper in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint.
Video: Louisiana Champions Day Classic S. (BT)
This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.