Costa Rising (10) holds off  Mean Butterbean (4) to win the Classic feature event of Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Costa Rising (10) holds off Mean Butterbean (4) to win the Classic feature event of Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Associated Press

Costa Rising, Short Prices Mark Louisiana-Bred Card

(from Fair Grounds report)
Short prices warmed the hearts of favorite players, with a pair of fillies being the exceptions, as Louisiana Champions Day returned to its home base Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Nine of 11 winners on the card were sent off at odds of less than 3-1.

In the finale, the featured $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, even-money choice Costa Rising ($4) was the winner – albeit by a nose over Mean Butterbean.

"I believe today we saw everything this horse has got," said a relieved owner Charles Castille Jr., "but it was all he needed."

Last year's Classic winner, Badtotheboneandrew, finished third.

"It's an honor to train a horse like this," said winning conditioner Joseph Stanley Boxie. "I think he's one of the best Louisiana-breds around. This is my top dog."

The longest-priced winner of the day came in the inaugural running of the Ladies Sprint, when Carl's Frosty Girl ($27.20) rallied late for the win over stablemate Ida Maria for trainer Patrick Mouton.

Carl's Frosty Girl got the six furlongs in 1:11.16, while favorite and pacemaker Cajun Mistress tired to third in the final strides.

Another mild upset came in the other race for older fillies and mares – the Ladies – when Blueyed Lass ($11.20) covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.67. Cutie Sabrina finished second, while Raspberry Wine was third.

In the Turf, 3-year-old Desert Wheat ($5) turned back 8-year-old Mr. Sulu's bid for an unprecedented fourth win in the grass event. Longshot Chip Hunter gained the second spot late to relegate Mr. Sulu to third.

Tortuga Straits ($3.60), a half-brother to last year's Lassie winner Tortuga Flats, took down winning honors in the Juvenile, getting the six furlongs in 1:11.15 as the odds-on choice of the fans.

Power Surge finished second in the Juvenile, while Hallway was third.

One race earlier, Meteor Impact ($5.40) set a stakes record in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, covering the six furlongs in 1:09.71 under jockey Kerwin Clark for trainer Connie Tassistro.

"I let the speed go. He was doing it so easy," said winning jockey Kerwin Clark. "Down the lane, he was really running."

Pacesetter Brother Bean held on for second, while Cort's P.B. finished third after prompting the pace.

Huckie ($6.40) came from last in the early going to win the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie going away by 5 1/4 lengths, covering the six furlongs in 1:12.38. Joangel was up for second while Zarb's Ballerina was third.

(Chart, Equibase)