03/10/2009 11:00PM

Illness may explain Costa Rising's flop


Costa Rising, a top Louisiana-bred who finished fifth as the 1-2 favorite in last weekend's $75,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs, was found to have a lower respiratory infection following the race, said his trainer, Glenn Delahoussaye. The horse finished 7 1/4 lengths behind winner Snug.

"It's an unfortunate thing, but it happens," Delahoussaye said. "I'd like to go back and get a do-over, but you don't get do-overs in racing."

Delahoussaye said Costa Rising is being treated with antibiotics and should resume training soon. His next goal is the $50,000 John Henry over the new turf course at Evangeline Downs on April 18.

"We're giving him a few days off and then we'll get him back training and get ready for the John Henry with an eye to Legends Night," said Delahoussaye.

The Legends night program of Louisiana-bred stakes at Evangeline is July 4. Depending on how Costa Rising runs in the John Henry, he could remain on turf for the $100,000 Attaway Darbonne Memorial or return to dirt for the $100,000 Pola Benoit.

Costa Rising was making his second start since December 2007 in the Gold Cup, having won his comeback in a statebred turf allowance at Fair Grounds on Feb. 20. While away, he had a small bone chip removed from his left hind ankle via arthroscopic surgery. It was diagnosed following his 15-length romp in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds in December 2007. Costa Rising has won 15 of 24 starts and $893,616.