07/08/2003 11:00PM

Bonapaw pointing toward Evangeline Mile


Bonapaw is on the comeback trail. The gelding, who has not raced since finishing second in the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile on April 26, is scheduled to have his first work back Saturday. His immediate goal is the $75,000 Evangeline Mile at Evangeline Downs on Aug. 16.

Bonapaw is stabled at Folsom Training Center north of New Orleans, in the same region as the Lafayette, La., track.

"We gave him 30 days off, and he's been back in training for two weeks now," said Norman Miller, who trains Bonapaw for Dennis Richard. "He's doing great."

Miller had planned to run Bonapaw in the $150,000 Sea o'Erin on turf at Arlington in June, and had also penciled in Sunday's $60,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star Park. But those plans changed after the Texas Mile.

"I felt he wasn't [training] as comfortable as he should have been," Miller said. "It seemed he was off in the rear end."

A chiropractor made some adjustments to Bonapaw's back in two places, and that treatment, coupled with the time off, has made a difference for the 7-year-old.

"It looks like it's helped him," said Miller. "He's doing terrific."

Miller said Richard is looking at different stakes around the country for Bonapaw. The plan is to keep him racing between six furlongs and one mile. Last year, Bonapaw won the Grade 1 Vosburgh at seven furlongs at Belmont Park. Overall, he has won 17 races and $1 million.

BC meet approved for Lone Star

The Texas Racing Commission on Wednesday approved a 19-date fall meet surrounding the Breeders' Cup next year at Lone Star. The track will host the championship series on Oct. 30, 2004.

The meet will be run from Oct. 1-31. It will be the first time Lone Star has had a fall Thoroughbred season, and to do so, the track's fall Quarter Horse meet had to be moved to Sam Houston.

In all, Sam Houston was awarded 95 dates for Quarter Horses next year, from April 23-Nov. 6.

In addition to the fall meet, Lone Star was granted a 63-date spring Thoroughbred meet from April 15-July 11.

Sam Houston will run 78 dates for Thoroughbreds next year, from Jan. 2-April 10 and Nov. 17-Dec. 23, while Retama will run 40 dates of Thoroughbred racing from July 22-Sept. 25.

Eagle Lake in Lone Star feature

Eagle Lake, who has established herself as one of the top older females at Lone Star this meet with stakes wins on turf and dirt, heads a quality field of fillies and mares in the featured ninth race Friday night at Lone Star.

A 1 1/16-mile allowance on turf, the race has drawn 10 and has a purse of $38,000.

Eagle Lake won the Grade 3, $200,000 WinStar Distaff at a mile on turf at Lone Star in May, then last month returned to beat Texas-breds on dirt in the $75,000 Allen Bogan Memorial.

Others in the race Friday include Coastalota, Devout Sinner, Janeian, Golden Rhythm, and Pleasant State.

More sprints for Watchem Smokey

Watchem Smokey, the 3-year-old colt who ran his career record to 6 for 6 with his win in the $50,000 Airline at Louisiana Downs last Saturday, will be considered for the $35,000 Oklahoma Classics Day Sprint at Remington on Sept. 27, said his owner and trainer, Cecil Borel.

Although he has not made firm plans for Watchem Smokey's next race, Borel said he would like to keep the colt sprinting, if possible. He also plans to give him three to six weeks between starts.

"I like to give him his time," said Borel. "He's not a big horse, and I don't like to run him back too quick."

Watchem Smokey, an Oklahoma-bred by Alphabet Soup, won his debut in June 2002 at Louisiana Downs and went on to win races at Oaklawn and Lone Star before taking the Airline.

* Trainer Eddie Ruiz said this will be the last year of competition for Due to Win, who was voted champion older mare last year at Louisiana Downs for her back-to-back stakes wins in the track's $50,000 Delicada and $50,000 Honeymoon.

She will be bred to Silky Sweep, a stallion whom her owners and breeders, Howard and Penny Scarberry, bought to stand in Louisiana. A stakes-winning sprinter, Silky Sweep has earned $325,309.

* Sam Houston drew a record crowd of 24,316 for racing and fireworks on July 4. The previous record of 24,124 was set the same day in 2002.