07/04/2005 12:00AM

Waupaca takes Independence Handicap


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Waupaca made a triumphant return to his favorite turf course Monday afternoon as he controlled the issue throughout in winning the at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. Gigawatt chased in vain and had to settle for second followed by longshot Spruce's Spirit.

Under kind rating by E. J. Perrodin, Waupaca ($6.00) set soft early fractions of :25.13 and :48.86 before Perrodin asked for a bit more into the far turn of the mile and a sixteenth turf affair. After a three quarter split of 1:12.81, the winner had separated himself from the field and the race was for second. The final time for the mile and a sixteenth was 1:43.73 over firm going and the winning margin was a length and three-quarters.

Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel for Wayne Sanders, Waupaca won for the fifth time locally from only seven starts. The victory was his tenth overall from 28 attempts and the 5-year-old son of Forrest Wildcat has now earned just under $300,000.

"I had a lot of horse," said Perrodin after the race. "I asked him around the far turn and rode him aggressively, but if they would have come to him, he was going to break free again."