06/05/2007 12:00AM

Costa Rising to return in Pola Benoit

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Costa Rising, away since February, is launching a comeback with the long-term goal being the $100,000 Shiskabob on turf at Louisiana Downs on July 21. His first start back will be in the $100,000 Pola Benoit Memorial at Evangeline Downs on June 30.

Costa Rising, a 4-year-old colt who has won 10 of 16 starts and $544,949, last raced on Feb. 3 when he won the $194,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship at Delta Downs by 5o1/4 lengths. Shortly after the race he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left knee.

Trained most of his career by Joseph Boxie, Costa Rising was moved to trainer Glenn Delahoussaye on Feb. 12.

Robby Albarado will ride him in Pola Benoit, Delahoussaye said.

Costa Rising has had several strong works in preparation for his return, among them a bullet three furlongs in 34.60 seconds in his first work back April 27.

"This horse has rehabilitated and trained absolutely awesome," Delahoussaye said. "I've got four solid works in him. His last work was a six-furlong work, and he went in [1:12.20]. His internal splits were like 35, 47, 59 - and I have yet to work him with company. This is all on his own, at no urging.

"He really gives me a lot of confidence watching him work out there."

Costa Rising has won stakes in his last three starts - the $99,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs on Nov. 18, the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds on Dec. 9, and then the Premier Night Championship.

In the Shiskabob, he will be trying to keep intact his perfect Louisiana Downs turf record. He is 2 for 2 over the course, both wins in turf stakes. The Shiskabob, like the Benoit, is restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

"We're going to basically focus on the statebred program," said Delahoussaye, who trains Costa Rising for Charles Castille Jr. "The one open race we might try, because it's in our backyard, is the Evangeline Mile."

Berths based on pick four results

Louisiana Downs is using a pick four contest to award its seven berths into the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship next January in Las Vegas. The pick four contest began on June 1 and runs through Oct. 20.

Horseplayers around the country who hit pick fours at Louisiana Downs that pay $750 or more accumulate points on a monthly basis, and those with the six highest monthly point totals will qualify for the championship. The seventh berth is reserved for the player who scores the most points in any one month at Louisiana Downs.

Once a bettor hits the Louisiana Downs pick four for $750 or more (for a $1 ticket), he must register

for the contest at ladowns.com.

For questions, send email to

ladpick4contest@gmail.com, or see the complete contest rules at ladowns.com.

Three straight for Manage?

Manage will be looking for her third straight win Thursday when she moves into the allowance ranks in the featured fifth race. The about 7o1/2-furlong turf race is a first-level allowance for fillies and mares. Other top contenders in the field include Hart's Sunset, Golden Demand and Merry Mary.

Manage returned from a two-month freshening on May 4, winning an off-the-turf claiming race by 7 3/4 lengths at Louisiana Downs. One start later, she won another claimer, this time on the turf. Jose Riquelme has the mount Thursday for trainer Harold Hahn.