09/19/2007 11:00PM

Will Costa Rising be as good on turf?

EmailBOSSIER CITY, La. - Costa Rising has long had a reputation for winning. Now he also has one for winning big. He comes into the $200,000 Unbridled Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs on Saturday with two of the nation's highest Beyer Speed Figures this year, a 117 and 114.

The numbers were earned on dirt, in races at Evangeline Downs. For the Unbridled, he will be moving back to turf, where he is 2 for 3. But since Costa Rising's last appearance on the grass he has elevated his game. He won the $200,000 Evangeline Mile by 12 1/4 lengths on Aug. 11, with a Beyer of 114. The race was won in track-record time, and it was his first start without blinkers. One race later, Costa Rising looked like an absolute storm moving through Evangeline's stretch in a $55,000 allowance Sept. 3. He won by 17 1/2 lengths, with a Beyer of 117.

"I'm interested to see if he can transfer that monster dirt form to turf," said Glenn Delahoussaye, who in February began training Costa Rising. "We know he's gotten over the turf well. We know that his pedigree calls for him to compete well over the turf, but is he going to be the same monster on the grass that he is on the dirt? Not many horses can do that. I'm not saying that he can't. I'm not saying that he can. I'm saying I want to find out. If he does, we've got options galore."

The Unbridled will be run over 1o1/16 miles. It is one of five stakes worth a cumulative $1.3 million on Super Derby Saturday and the final leg of a $100,000 guaranteed pick four that runs from races 8-11.

Costa Rising backed up his Evangeline Mile number in the allowance, when he earned the year's fourth highest Beyer for a dirt race up to a mile. He was situated on the rail for much of the race, with another horse to his immediate outside setting the pace. Approaching the final turn, Costa Rising began to open up on the field.

"The amazing thing was the ease and the efficiency in which he raced coming off the best Beyer by far of his life," said Delahoussaye. "Instead of regression, we got progression."

The chief threat could be Go Between, a winner of more than $1 million on turf. Robby Albarado, who won four stakes last year on Super Derby Day, has the mount. Joe Talamo, whose first career winner came here, will be in to ride Gigawatt.