08/13/2007 12:00AM

Costa Rising sets track record


OPELOUSAS, La. - Costa Rising returned to his winning ways Saturday night by capturing the $200,000 Evangeline Mile in track-record time.

Super Frolic, the even-money favorite and starting highweight, was left more than 12 lengths back in Costa Rising's wake. The longshot Watchem Smokey finished a distant third.

Making his first start since having his eight-race win streak against fellow Louisiana-breds broken on Louisiana Legends Night in late June, Costa Rising ($7.40) and jockey Kerwin Clark took advantage of the late scratch of expected pacesetter Gigawatt and went to the front immediately from post 8. Cruising along after setting pedestrian early fractions of 24.56 and 48.15 seconds, Costa Rising picked up the pace and was a length in front of a tiring High Strike Zone following six furlongs in 1:12.50. Under a steady right-handed whip from Clark, the 4-year-old Costa Rising increased his advantage in the drive en route to lowering the track mark for a mile from 1:36.61 to 1:36.51.

Making his second start for trainer Glenn Delahoussaye, Costa Rising has won 11 of18 starts and slightly less than $675,000 for owner Charles Castille Jr.