06/06/2008 12:00AM

Costa Rising nears return to training


Costa Rising, the Louisiana-bred who earned one of the top Beyer Speed Figures of 2007, is scheduled to resume training July 1. He has been out of action since late December, when he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone chip from his left hind ankle. Costa Rising is rehabbing at owner Charles Castille's farm in Louisiana and upon his return to training will rejoin trainer Glenn Delahoussaye's stable at the Evangeline Downs Training Center in Lafayette, La.

"Everything has pretty much gone textbook with him so far," Delahoussaye said. "He looks fantastic."

Costa Rising, 5, earned a 118 Beyer for an allowance win at Evangeline Downs in September. One race prior, he had captured the $200,000 Evangeline Mile with a 115 Beyer. His most recent start came at Fair Grounds on Dec. 8, when he rolled to a 15 1/4-length win in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

Following the race, a routine physical examination led to discovery of the bone chip. Delahoussaye said the horse will be examined late this month and provided he gets a final thumbs-up from veterinarians, he will start tracking again July 1.

"I'm more on the conservative side, but I'd say if things go well he'll probably have a first, light breeze 60 days from when he resumes training," Delahoussaye said.

Delahoussaye said the earliest Costa Rising would probably be ready to race would be during the Fair Grounds meet, which opens in November. Overall, the horse has won 10 stakes and $861,366.

Valenzuela wins at Louisiana Downs

Pat Valenzuela, who is now based at Louisiana Downs, collected his first win at the meet Thursday, when he guided Biduadeau ($4.80) to a wire-to-wire victory in the eighth race, an allowance sprint, for Valene Farms and trainer Sturges Ducoing. Valenzuela began riding at Louisiana Downs on June 1. Those were his first mounts since Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.

Valenzuela had a conditional license to ride in California revoked shortly afterward because of a DUI charge, but he is in good standing in Louisiana, where he guided Overextended to a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., on Dec. 7.

His win Thursday came in his sixth mount of the meet. Valenzuela is named to ride leading contender Mi Kellita in the sixth race Sunday, a turf allowance for fillies and mares that also drew Louisiana Song.

Tohill moves tack to Lone Star

Ken Tohill, a perennial leading rider in New Mexico, is riding at Lone Star Park on a regular basis for the first time. He had a double here June 1, with both of his winners coming for trainer Chris Hartman. Tohill and Hartman won their respective Thoroughbred titles during the Sunland Park meet that concluded in April.

Following that season, Tohill rode some at SunRay Park in Farmington, N.M., and also came into Lone Star to ride Wind Water to victory in the $50,000 Ford Express for Hartman. He then took some time off and decided to give things a go at Lone Star.

"I had taken a break and hadn't made a game plan, and Chris asked me to come ride some," Tohill said.

"So far, it's been pretty enjoyable."

Tohill said Monty Penney is his agent at Lone Star. Tohill won the Sunland title for the fifth straight year in April. A career winner of 2,469 races, he is a 45-year-old native of Northern California.

Sumfun targeting Temperence Hill

Sumfun, who won his third straight race in an allowance at Louisiana Downs on June 1, will move back into stakes competition for his next start, according to trainer Bret Calhoun. He said the horse is being pointed for the $50,000 Temperence Hill at six furlongs at Louisiana Downs on June 21.

Sumfun won the $50,000 Route 66 Stakes at Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa prior to his allowance win. His other score during his current streak came in an allowance at Lone Star. He earned a 91 Beyer for his recent 1 1/4-length win over Venomous. Sumfun is a three-time stakes winner and he races for Carl Moore Management.

Oaklawn handicapping tourney a strong draw

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., has drawn entries from as far away as Alberta, California, Washington, and Wisconsin for its qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Tournament on June 14-15. The first three finishers will earn a fees-paid berth to the national final in Las Vegas in January 2009.

Other states represented among the 75 players already signed on for the Oaklawn qualifier include Florida, Illinois, Nevada, and Ohio. Last year, the qualifier drew 158 entries. The deadline to enter this year's qualifier is Wednesday. Oaklawn tournament director Jason Milligan can be reached at (501) 623-4411, ext. 563. There is also a tournament website, at http://tournament.oaklawnpark.com.

* Scamp and a Half ($42), who split horses for a 3 3/4-length win in a $25,000 maiden claiming race for 2-year-old fillies last week at Lone Star, is being pointed for the Lady Razorback Futurity at Louisiana Downs, trainer Burl McBride said. Scamp and a Half is a full sister to Rita Katrina, who won a $25,000 maiden claimer at Lone Star in 2006, one start before capturing the Lady Razorback for McBride.