03/04/2009 1:00AM

Costa Rising out to build on comeback


Costa Rising will attempt to build on the successful comeback he made from more than a one-year layoff last month when he starts in Friday night's $75,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs. The seven-furlong race will be run around two turns and is restricted to 3-year-olds and up bred in Louisiana.

The $75,000 Magnolia, which also was scheduled for Friday, did not fill. The statebred stakes for fillies and mares was expected to draw multiple stakes winner Superior Storm.

Costa Rising made his first start since December 2007 in a statebred allowance at Fair Grounds on Feb. 20, cruising to a one-length win in the 7 1/2-furlong turf race.

"I didn't expect him to do it that easily," said Glenn Delahoussaye, who trains Costa Rising for Charles Castille Jr. "He came back with his ears pricked. Really, he's an amazing horse. He continues to amaze me.

"I really didn't intend to run him in this race - I wish we could have had another week in between - but he came out of that race so sharp he just raised the bar."

Costa Rising underwent arthroscopic surgery to have a small bone chip removed from his left hind ankle in December 2007, following his 15-length romp in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic. He had turned in a series of bullet works for his comeback and came out of his Fair Grounds race in "perfect condition," Delahoussaye said.

The horse will move back to dirt on Saturday night and return to Delta, where he is 3 for 3.

"I like the turf to dirt with him," Delahoussaye said. "I went back and researched his races, and every time he's gone turf to dirt, he's won.

"If there's only one question mark, and I'm trusting in his talent, it's that he's never run seven-eighths of a mile. Seven-eighths at Delta is a two-turn race. If it would have been a one-turn race, we wouldn't have went in it."

Delahoussaye has given the mount to Kerwin Clark.

* Jockey Marlon St. Julien is nearing 2,000 career wins. He was at 1,991 through Tuesday.