06/15/2006 12:00AM

Waupaca vs. New Export in Dallas Turf Cup

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Horses based in either California or Texas have captured 7 of the 9 runnings of the Dallas Turf Cup, and when the race is run again on Saturday the two states again will have the race's top players: Waupaca and New Export.

Waupaca is based at Lone Star Park, while New Export invades from Hollywood Park in Southern California. They are the 116-pound starting highweights in the 1 1/8-mile Dallas Turf Cup.

A Grade 3, $200,000 race, the Dallas Turf Cup is being run as a graded stakes for the first time. Waupaca can become the fifth local horse to win the race. He is versatile, but given his speed he is also a candidate to control the pace Saturday.

"He could, but those horses in California, they run some pretty fast fractions and they finish pretty fast, too, so you never know on some of those horses," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Waupaca for Wayne Sanders.

New Export appears to be one of those quick horses. A winner of two Group 1 races last year in Brazil, he made his North American debut in his last start April 29 and finished third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap on turf at Hollywood Park. The 1 1/16-mile race was run in a blazing 1:39.

"I've just seen him run the one time, that was last time, and he wasn't too far off the pace," said trainer Bobby Frankel, who saddled New Export for the first time in the Inglewood.

Waupaca is a six-time stakes winner, and in his last start he was prominent through quick fractions in the $40,000 Connecting Terms at Lone Star on May 20. He went on to win by four lengths, running the 1 1/16-mile turf race in a sharp 1:40.40.

"He had control from the three-eighths pole on, and he didn't weaken any," said Von Hemel. "Maybe if the course is fast Saturday, maybe the mile and an eighth - which has been a little bit of a nemesis for him - maybe it will help him get the mile and an eighth."

Waupaca, who is looking for his first win at the distance after finishing fourth last year in the Dallas Turf Cup, has won 12 of 36 career starts and $433,275. "He's pretty consistent," said Von Hemel. "He's pretty much on the board every time we take him over there."

Quincy Hamilton rides Waupaca.

Cliff Berry will ride New Export, whose Group 1 wins came on turf at a mile and 1 1/4 miles in February and March of 2005. He is a 5-year-old Brazilian-bred and races for T N T Stud and Michael Bello.

Frankel has won the Dallas Turf Cup twice, with Southern California shippers El Gran Papa and Martiniquais. Von Hemel won the inaugural running in 1997 with the Lone Star-based Burbank.

Boots on Sunday in comeback race

Boots on Sunday, a seven-time stakes winner and earner of more than $400,000, is coming out of retirement in the $40,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial on the undercard Saturday. The six-furlong race for Texas-breds will be his first start since August 2002.

Boots on Sunday was retired with a bowed left front tendon. His trainer, Danny Pish, said the tear has healed. The gelding, 9, has been working at Lone Star. He shows some strong drills, including a recent six-furlong move in 1:12.80.

"With any type of layoff of any period of time at all, a work's a work and a race is a race," said Pish. "I've got him about as fit as I can get him in the morning without having a race."

Roman Chapa, who broke his collarbone last month, will make his comeback as well on Saturday, aboard his longtime mount Boots on Sunday.

Rain on Monday, a 3-year-old full brother to Boots on Sunday, is also entered in the McGregor.