Costa Rising Heads Louisiana Champions Day

(from Fair Grounds release)
Charles Castille Jr.'s Costa Rising, coming off a win in Delta Downs' Gold Cup last month, faces 2005 winner Badtotheboneandrew and nine others in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.

The Classic and nine other Louisiana Champions Day races return to their traditional home for the 16th running of the state-bred festival and are joined by the inaugural running of the $100,000 Ladies Sprint at six furlongs to complete the 11-race card.

Costa Rising was installed as the 4-1 morning line favorite as he bested Badtotheboneandrew by 4 1/2 lengths in that last trip to the post. Costa Rising has drawn the outside post in the field of 11 on Saturday. Badtotheboneandrew leaves from the No. 8 position.

The pre-Classic spotlight will likely fall on the $100,000 Turf, as Mr. Sulu will attempt to become the first Thoroughbred to win four times on Champions Day. Mr. Sulu has been idle since July at Fort Erie and faces strong competition from Bill Mott-trained Desert Wheat, competitive in graded stakes in his last four starts.

In the Sprint, 2005 winner Zarb's Dahar, unplaced in Fair Grounds' $75,000 Thanksgiving Handicap two weeks ago, must turn the tables on Cort's P.B., a one-length victor in that opening day feature, as well as five others.

A pair of 2-year-old tests – the Lassie for fillies featuring Delta Downs stakes winner Huckie, and the Juvenile headed by Margarita Man, winner of two straight state-bred stakes – will each be contested at six furlongs as Saturday's fifth and seventh races, respectively.

The inaugural running of the $100,000 Ladies Sprint has justified its inception by drawing a full field of 14. The Ladies, run at 1 1/16 miles, is headed by Grand Facile, four-length winner of Delta's $75,000 Magnolia Stakes Nov. 18.

Setemup Joe and No Surgeon, the top weights in the Starter Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, face each other and four others in the fourth race as the first Thoroughbred event of the afternoon.

Three Quarter Horse races begin Saturday's program restricted to state-breds: the Quarter Horse Juvenile, the Quarter Horse Derby, and the Quarter Horse Classic - with Cool Eleanor attempting to repeat in the final event.

$150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes (Race 11, 4:50 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Willtosucceed, Elvis Perrodin, 115, 6/1
2. Jacob V and G A, Steve Bourque, 118, 5/1
3. Tommy's Turn, Lonnie Meche, 115, 6/1
4. Destined to Star, Cody Meche, 118, 6/1
5. Mean Butterbean, Robby Albarado, 118, 10/1
6. Sevenapriladthirty, James Graham, 118, 8/1
7. Spritely Walker, Donnie Meche, 118, 5/1
8. Badtotheboneandrew, Jose Riquelme, 118, 10/1
9. Belle City Boy, Carlos Gonzalez, 118, 12/1
10. Capt. Rhon, Joseph Talamo, 115, 15/1
11. Costa Rising, Mario Reyes, 121, 4/1