Rebecca Farms and T. J. Dickey’s Heavy On Themister,
hero of the 2012 $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair
Grounds Race Course & Slots, returns to the scene of his greatest
victory to face 11 rivals in Saturday’s $60,000 Costa Rising Stakes for
Louisiana-breds at the Crescent City oval.
Although the local Classic was at nine furlongs on the main track and
Saturday’s Costa Rising is scheduled for about 5 ½-furlongs over the
Stall-Wilson turf course, Heavy On Themister cannot be discounted in
this weekend’s Fair Grounds feature. The 6-year-old Lion Tamer gelding
returned from a five-month layoff to win a 5 ½-furlong dash on the main
track that had been originally carded for the lawn on Dec. 7 and is also
one for two in his lifetime grass starts.
Capable of providing strong competition for Heavy On Themister in the Costa Rising is Rowell Enterprises’ Heitai,
a proven speedster who won Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions
Day Sprint by seven lengths in his last start Dec. 14. The homebred by
2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus also won Fair Grounds
$100,000 Louisiana Futurity the same year that Heavy On Themister won
Glen Warren and Andrew Leggio Jr.’s Skip the Pinot cannot
be overlooked in the Costa Rising. After making the pace in this
season’s Louisiana Champions Day Classic the 4-year-old gray homebred
held on courageously in the late stages to be beaten only 1 ¼ lengths by
Brittlyn Stable’s Sunbean and Charles Smith’s String King. Last summer Skip the Pinot won the Louisiana Cup Derby at Louisiana Downs.
Red Oak Stable’s Kissimmee Kyle, although winless in
two starts last year on the main track, should merit more serious
consideration if Saturday’s sprint stays on the Stall-Wilson. The
7-year-old Gold Tribute gelding has posted four turf triumphs in 17
starts over that surface.
Completing the Costa Rising field is Glen Warren’s Joyce’s Rebel, Bill and Denise Morrison’s No Rules Now, Merrill Scherer and Dan Lynch’s Nubin Ridge, Steve and Pat Roe’s Palmy Bay, Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Southern Dude, H & H Ranch’s Tey’s Big Boy, Dale Ladner’s Unitas, and Set-Hut LLC’s Zip Motion.