07/19/2006 11:00PM

Waupaca stares down 11

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Lone Star Park
Waupaca (inside) is approaching the $500,000 mark in career earnings.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Racing in turf stakes in this region means dealing with Waupaca, who is closing in on $500,000 in earnings. He will continue to work toward that milestone on Saturday, when he heads a full field of 12 for the $40,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star Park.

A one-mile race, the Bob Johnson is being run on the grass for the first time, and it drew a competitive group that includes A R Crackers, Oncearoundtwice, Cajole, and Mad Adam.

But the horse to beat is , a multiple stakes winner of $455,275 who is looking for his second stakes win at the meet. He won the $40,000 Connecting Terms here in May and followed with a third-place finish in the Grade 3, $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup in his last start June 17.

Waupaca has not missed a check in his last 13 starts and has not earned a Beyer Speed Figure below 90 in his last 12 starts.

"Two-turn turf races, he's going to be right there," said trainer Donnie Von Hemel. "He's been very consistent."

Waupaca was prominent over yielding turf in the Dallas Turf Cup, where he finished 1 1/4 lengths back in third under regular rider Quincy Hamilton.

"I would have liked to have tried the Dallas Turf Cup on a firm course," said Von Hemel. "I think that may have made a length and a quarter difference."

Later this year, Waupaca could see action in such top regional stakes as the $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup at Remington Park on Sept. 4 and the $200,000 Harrah's Louisiana Downs Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 23.

In the Bob Johnson, Waupaca will break from post 6.

"I think a stalking kind of race is probably his best race," said Von Hemel.

Threats include , who is cross-entered in the $75,000 Ark-La-Tex at Louisiana Downs. In his last start, he was a neck winner of a one-mile turf allowance and covered the distance in a quick 1:34.60. The third-place finisher from that race was Trial by Jury, who in his next start won the Dallas Turf Cup.

Six of Cajole's 10 victories have come on turf. He worked a bullet five furlongs on turf in 1:00, with the move coming around the dogs.

Silver Spur: Miss Mary Pat returns

Miss Mary Pat invades from Churchill Downs for the $65,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies. She launched her career in Texas, and in her most recent start she won the $111,000 fillies division

of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star on June 10.

shows a nice series of works at Churchill since the TTA, which was flattered when Wrenice, the runner-up, returned to capture the $125,000 fillies division of the Texas Stallion Stakes. Miss Mary Pat owns the field's highest last-race Beyer Speed Figure, an 84. Her winning time in the TTA, 58.28 seconds, was .22 seconds faster than the winning time in the colts and geldings division of the TTA on the same card.

Miss Mary Pat's chief rival appears to be Gallant Dreamer, who was fourth last out in the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill. Others in the field include Lunarlady, a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Lunarpal; Stormin Quality, an impressive debut winner; and Ramblin Sally.