Costa Rising left his eight rivals, including 11-10 favorite Super Frolic, far behind while recording a powerful track record victory in the $200,000 Evangeline Mile at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino Aug. 11.
Taking command shortly after the break, jockey Kerwin Clark was able to get the Louisiana-bred 4-year-old son of Royal Strand to relax while setting moderate fractions of :24, :48, and 1:12 2/5 for the six furlongs. When asked for his best turning for home, Costa Rising sprinted home the final quarter-mile in 24 seconds flat to stop the clock in a track record mark of 1:36.51. Costa Rising won by 12-1/4 lengths.
Super Frolic, victimized by the lack of early pace, rallied willingly along the inside in the stretch under jockey Luis Quinonez to be a clearcut second by six lengths. Watchem Smokey, who trailed during the early stages, rallied for third for Gerard Melancon. High Strike Zone was fourth, followed by the defending champion, Dreamsandvisions. Marion’s Man, Cat Man, Rocket Strike, and Pinecrest Boy rounded out the order. Gigawatt was a late scratch.
“He was a different horse tonight," Clark said of Costa Rising, the second choice who paid $7.40, $3.20 and $3.60. "I wanted everyone to see the real Costa Rising, and they did.”
Owned by Charles Castille Jr. and trained by Glenn Delahoussaye, Costa Rising earned $120,000 for the victory, his 11th in 18 career starts. Bred in Louisiana by Double Dam Farm, last year’s 3-year-old Louisiana-bred colt champion has now earned more than $674,000.
Super Frolic returned $3 and $3, while Watchem Smokey was $7.20 to show.