08/31/2007 11:00PM

Asmussen colt must beat fillies


Monday night's 137-horse, 12-race program is a fitting conclusion to what has been an exciting and busy spring and summer season at Evangeline Downs. In addition to the traditional closing-day feature, the $125,000 Lafayette Stakes for

2-year-olds, a $50,000 allowance, the Labor Day Purse, will support the Lafayette and will mark the return of Evangeline Mile winner and track record holder Costa Rising.

The Lafayette is the deepest it has been in years and is headed by the Steve Asmussen-trained Possetothemax. The son of Posse, North America's leading 2-year-old sire in 2007 in terms of wins, stakes wins, and earnings, won the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows in late June prior to running third in the Middleground Stakes at Lone Star Park in late July. Asmussen has given the call to the meeting's leading rider, Curt Bourque.

Purely Class, one of two fillies in the Lafayette, will put her perfect record on the line for trainer Terry Romero.

A winner by more than 10 lengths here at first asking in early July, Purely Class most recently defeated male allowance opponents at Louisiana Downs. Carlos Lozada will once again be in the saddle.

Swifty Victress also will venture outside her own gender in Monday's headliner, as she goes for her third stakes tally in a row. A daughter of Macho Uno, Swifty Victress won filly divisions of both the Shine Young Futurity and the John Franks Sales Memorial here earlier this summer. Sylvester Carmouche again has the call.

Costa Rising's effort in the Mile here on Aug. 11 was simply smashing. He took command soon after the start and led every step in winning by more than 12 lengths, lowering the track standard for the distance to 1:36.51 and earning a lofty Beyer Speed Figure of 114.

Dominant in the statebred ranks at all four Louisiana tracks in 2006, Costa Rising began this year with a third-place performance in the Pola Benoit Stakes in late June. The Benoit was his first start for new trainer Glenn Delahoussaye and his first since having surgery to remove a bone chip from a knee earlier in the year.

Kerwin Clark will again handle the reins on Costa Rising.