07/15/2009 12:00AM

Costa Rising, Louisiana hero, retired


Costa Rising, who gained notoriety outside of his home state of Louisiana back in 2007 when he put up two of that year's best Beyer Speed Figures, has been retired, his trainer, Glenn Delahoussaye, said on Wednesday.

Costa Rising has a torn ligament that would require an extended layoff, so the decision was made to retire him, said Delahoussaye.

A 6-year-old son of Royal Strand owned by Charles Castille, Costa Rising will stand at stud in Louisiana.

Costa Rising earned a Beyer Figure of 115 on Aug. 11, 2007, when he won the $200,000 Evangeline Mile Handicap at Evangeline Downs in track-record time. Among those he defeated was millionaire Super Frolic

Delahoussaye called the Evangeline Mile a "breakthrough race" for Costa Rising.

"From that race on, to me, he was just at a different level," said Delahoussaye.

Costa Rising trumped himself one start later, when he earned a Beyer Figure of 118 for a 17-length romp in an allowance race at Evangeline on Sept. 3, 2007. Later that same year, he rolled to a 15-length win in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds.

Following the race, a routine physical examination revealed a small bone chip on Costa Rising's left hind ankle. It was removed via arthroscopic surgery in December 2007. Fourteen months later, Costa Rising won his comeback race at Fair Grounds this past February. His most recent start came earlier this month, when he finished an uncharacteristic sixth in the $100,000 Attaway Darbonne Memorial on the Legends Night program at Evangeline on July 4.

"With that particular performance, I wasn't pleased with it," said Delahoussaye. "He was in perfect stalking position and when he was asked the question down the lane, he didn't answer."

An ultrasound revealed a small tear in the suspensory ligament that surrounds his left hind ankle, said Delahoussaye. To return to racing, the horse would need three to six months off.

"We just felt to continue on with him would not be in the best interest of him, or his legacy," said Delahoussaye. "He's a popular horse in Louisiana."

Costa Rising was the state's horse of the year in 2007. He won stakes races at all four tracks in Louisiana, and put a streak of six wins together back in 2006 when in the care of trainer Joseph Boxie. Costa Rising, a winner of 11 stakes, was bred by Double Dam Farm. He retires with a record of 15 wins from 26 starts and earnings of $901,616.

Delahoussaye said Castille is on vacation, and when he returns the men will begin talking to commercial breeding farms in Louisiana to map out a stallion career for Costa Rising. For now, the horse will remain with Delahoussaye at his Evangeline Downs Training Center base in Lafayette, La.

Jonesboro taking it easy at Lone Star

Jonesboro, who has won graded stakes in 2 of his last 3 starts, has been in light training since his June 27 score in the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows.

"I'm kind of freshening him up right now," said Randy Morse, who trains Jonesboro for Mike Langford. "He's run four hard races in a row."

Jonesboro earned a career-best Beyer of 109 for his win in the Grade 2 Cornhusker. Before that, he was edged by a head in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 25, earning a Beyer of 107. Jonesboro won the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile on April 25, and finished third in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 4.

Morse said he and Langford are looking at their next-race options for Jonesboro, and hope to have a game plan in place by the end of next week. They are considering races in California, New York, and the Midwest.

Plans pending for Superior Storm

Superior Storm, who remained undefeated in Louisiana-bred stakes company with her dominant win in the $100,000 J. Archie Sebastien Memorial at Evangeline Downs on July 4, could remain in statebred stakes company for her next start. Rick Jackson, who trains Superior Storm for Jac Mac Stables, said she is being considered for a start in the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 1.

"I'm probably pointing for that, but that's not 100 percent," Jackson said last week. "But we're looking at that for right now."

Jackson wants to see how Superior Storm trains, and weigh all of his stakes options for the filly, who is the 2008 horse of the year for Louisiana. She has won nine statebred stakes, and has also proven effective in open company stakes. Earlier this year, Superior Storm finished second in both the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn and the Grade 3 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star.

* Holy Humor will be going for his third win over the Lone Star turf course in Friday night's fifth race, a 7 1/2-furlong turf allowance for horses who have never won three races. Chris Landeros has the mount for Millennium Farms and trainer Steve Asmussen.