06/16/2006 11:00PM

Calista Ridge wins second straight


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Odds-on favorite Calista Ridge took control soon after the start in Saturday's inaugural running of the $50,000 Seven Stars Stakes at Louisiana Downs and did not look back in winning her second consecutive stakes event. Nicks Nights rallied to finish second in the mile and a sixteenth test for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares. She was followed by Intractabie, Equestrian Girls and Miriam L. Blueyed Lass was a late scratch.

Rating kindly under Ricky Faul, Calista Ridge ($3.60) set moderate fractions of 24.30 and 48.31 seconds. Faul held a one-length advantage late in the second turn after a 1:13.13 six-furlong split and raced in the three path into the stretch. The winner shook off Intractabie nearing the furlong grounds and then held the runner-up safe in the late going to prevail by a length and a half. The final time was 1:46.92 over a track made sloppy by heavy rain earlier in the afternoon.

Calista Ridge is trained by Noral Tate for Trudy Alexander. The win validated a front-running score in the $50,000 Evangeline Ladies Stakes in her last start in late March. The 4-year-old daughter of Belek has now won five of her 11 starts and earned just under $125,000.