05/06/2006 12:00AM

Costa Rising upsets Screen Idol


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Costa Rising made a successful debut on the turf Friday afternoon as he led every step of the way in the opening day feature, the $50,000 John Franks Stakes.

Favored Screen Idol's late rally came up a nose short and the defending champion from last year's John Franks settled for second, followed by Krises Bells and Spritely Walker in the one-mile race for Louisiana-breds.

Rating kindly under Mario Reyes, Costas Rising ($44.80) carved out lively fractions of 23.39 seconds, 47.31, and 1:11.05 before shaking off Spritely Walker when straightened for home. Screen Idol was in high gear on the outside past the furlong marker but was unable to get to the winner in the final strides. The final time was 1:35.26 over the firm turf.

Trained by Joseph Boxie for Charles Castille, Jr., Costa Rising won for the third time in seven starts and validated an impressive allowance score over the Evangeline main track in his last start. The winner's share of $30,000 raised Costa Rising's career earnings to over $96,000.