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Stakes Recap: Costa Rising Stakes

Heitai Rises Again in Costa Rising at Fair Grounds

Rowell Enterprises’ Heitai, cleverly ridden by Diego Saenz once again, teamed up to use the same tactics they did four weeks ago in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint to capture Saturday’s $60,000 Costa Rising Stakes for Louisiana-breds by 2 ¾-lengths at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Taking command just after the start, Heitai cut out early fractions of 22.16 and 44.89 before drawing off steadily in the lane to get the 5 ½ furlong distance in the race taken off the grass in 1:03.46.

The Karl Broberg-trained son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus returned mutuels of $6.60 $3.80 and $3.40 and increased his career earnings to $274,943 with his fifth victory in 15 lifetime starts.

“This is a nice horse,” said Saenz immediately after the race.  “He made the lead pretty easy.  The #4 horse (Midwest Thoroughbreds’ favored Southern Dude) had a little speed too, but my horse – he did it all on his own.”

Glen Warren & Andrew Leggio Jr.’s Skip the Pinot, never far back, rallied late to easily gain the place, paying $4.40 and $3 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Merrill Scherer and Dan Lynch’s Nubin Ridge who returned $5.20 to show.

Completing the order of finish was Southern Dude, Heavy On Themister, Unitas and Palmy Bay.

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m.