06/12/2006 11:00PM

Waupaca batting leadoff


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Waupaca is the lead-off horse for a trio of rich stakes trainer Donnie Von Hemel is targeting over the next few weeks. Waupaca is pointing for the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup on Saturday at Lone Star Park. As of Tuesday, Waupaca was expected to be the co-starting highweight at 116 pounds, along with the Bobby Frankel-trained New Export, who is expected to run, and Hendrix, a Craig Dollase-trained horse who is considered possible.

Waupaca comes into the 1 1/8-mile Dallas Turf Cup off a four-length win in the $40,000 Connecting Terms here May 20. Prominent throughout, he covered the 1 1/16 miles in a quick 1:40.40.

"It was pretty impressive," said Von Hemel. "I thought it was a big effort for him, and hopefully we can duplicate that for the next one."

Quincy Hamilton, who leads all Lone Star riders in stakes wins at the meet with six, has the mount on Waupaca. Von Hemel will be shooting for his second win in the race. He won the inaugural Dallas Turf Cup in 1997 with the front-running Burbank.

In addition to Hendrix, others considered possible for this year's Dallas Turf Cup are Quasimodo, Totally Platinum, Nobodywantmetilnow, Brego, and Sultry Bard, said Mike Shamburg, stakes coordinator for Lone Star.

Brownie Points to Iowa Oaks

The Von Hemel-trained Brownie Points will head to Prairie Meadows to run in the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks on June 30. In her last start, she overcame trouble on the turn before rallying up the rail in the slop to win the third stakes race of her career in the $100,000 Stonerside.

"I was very proud of her," said Von Hemel.

Brownie Points, who earlier this year was third in the Grade 2 Fantasy, will be making her second graded stakes appearance in the Iowa Oaks.

"We'd like to get a graded win on her if we could," said Von Hemel. "We've seen horses she's run with go on and do well at other places. Ermine and some others have performed very well."

Brownie Points was second to Ermine in the Honeybee at Oaklawn, and after that race Ermine finished second in the Kentucky Oaks.

Von Hemel said Platinum Ballet is pointing for the $125,000 Iowa Distaff at Prairie on July 1. She won the race in 2005.

Boots on Sunday could come back

Boots on Sunday, a seven-time stakes winner who was retired with a bowed left front tendon in August 2002, might come back from a layoff of nearly four years Saturday in the $40,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial. Boots on Sunday, now 9, won the Carter McGregor in 2000.

"He is a possibility for Saturday," said Danny Pish, who trains Boots on Sunday. "I'm really on the fence, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about the Carter McGregor."

Boots on Sunday has been working at Lone Star, and last Friday went six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80 under Roman Chapa, who is also on the comeback trail after breaking his collarbone in a spill last month. Boots on Sunday was scheduled to work again this week, and if he goes Saturday, will be ridden by Chapa. Pish is now the owner of Boots on Sunday, who was given to him by Boots on Sunday's late owner and breeder, Wilton E. Scott.

Pish said he asked Scott's grandson, Quinn Scott Simons, for clearance to put Boots on Sunday back in training. For the past 1 1/2 years, Boots on Sunday had worked as a stable pony, but a couple of dynamics led Pish to begin training him again early in the meet.

"He just would be staring at every set of breezers that went by," said Pish. "He is a horse that longs to go back and do it again."

Pish said another factor was the success of Popped Corn, an older half-brother to Boots on Sunday who won his third race of the meet here last Sunday.

"He wins for me opening weekend, and that makes me start thinking maybe I should try this horse again," said Pish. "Having it in the back of my mind the past eight or 10 months, and then winning with Popped Corn - as a 10-year-old looking about as good as he ever did in victory - I'm thinking, 'Well, [Popped Corn] doesn't appear to have lost a step, and so maybe Boots hasn't lost a step. Maybe he's still capable.' "

Pish, who sent out a horse to win off a two-year layoff earlier this meet, said he will take the possible comeback with Boots on Sunday step by step.

"He's getting to have fun, that's what's going on right now," said Pish.

- Stakes winners Rue des Reves, My Misty Princess, D Fine Okie, and High Pioneer are the leading contenders in the featured ninth Thursday night. The 1 1/16-mile turf allowance for fillies and mares figures to produce starters for stakes in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.