Waupaca Heads Saturday's $50,000 Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes at Lone Star

(July 20, 2007) - Six-time stakes winner Waupaca was made the 8-5 morning line favorite and will break from the rail in a competitive field of nine older horses for Saturday's $50,000 Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes at one mile over the Lone Star Park turf course.

Campaigned by former Kimberly-Clark Corporation chairman and CEO Wayne Sanders, 7-year-old Waupaca has banked $510,575 in a 43-race career that has produced 13 victories. Four of his 11 starts over the Lone Star oval have resulted in trips to the winner's circle, including back-to-back renewals of the Connecting Terms Stakes in 2005-06.

The Kentucky-bred son of Forest Wildcat began the year with a 7 ½-furlong allowance score over the Lone Star sod May 12 and was followed by a good third in the Grade III Dallas Turf Cup Handicap behind Kentucky invaders Embossed and Crested. Most recently, Waupaca was fifth in the $50,000 Barksdale Handicap at Louisiana Downs on June 23 over a course rated "good."

"He's just an old pro," said trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel, who won last year's Bob Johnson with Nobodywantmetilnow. "He's been doing real well of late and I expect a good effort. I'll tell you what, though: [trainer Steve] Asmussen's horse will be awfully tough. He's been in real good form this meeting."

Smooth Bid, now age 5, was a stakes winner at two. He's won both of his starts at Lone Star this season, including his Bob Johnson prep on June 15 - a neck victory over Nobodywantmetilnow in 1:41.76 for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Also entered is impressive allowance winner Etesaal, who prevailed in the mud July 3 after the race was taken off the turf due to rain; the formidable Bart Evans-owned/trained entry of Almost Certain and Wishingitwas; Sing Baby Sing, a winner of three straight who'll return to turf for the first time since breaking his maiden at Lone Star last summer; Kentucky invader Electric Chant from the Cecil Borel barn; 2006 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap champ Trial by Jury; and the Danny Pish-trained Ernesto.

The field, from the rail out, for the 11th running of the Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Waupaca (Quincy Hamilton, Donnie K. Von Hemel, 8-5); Wishingitwas (Eguard Tejera, Bart Evans, 6-1); Trial by Jury (Richard Eramia, Bruce Jackson, 20-1); Smooth Bid (Eddie Martin Jr., Steve Asmussen, 3-1); Etesaal (Glen Murphy, Chris Hartman, 7-2); Almost Certain (Larry Taylor, Evans, 6-1); Ernesto (Don Pettinger, Danny Pish, 20-1); Electric Chant (Ramsey Zimmerman, Cecil Borel, 15-1); and Sing Baby Sing (Justin Shepherd, Jack Bruner, 12-1). The Bob Johnson will be run as Race 10 at approximately 5:47 p.m. CT on an 11-race card that begins at 1:35 p.m. CT. Grandstand gates open at 11:30 a.m.

Ramsey Zimmerman, who'll ride Electric Chant, also was named to ride Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap winner Cloudy's Knight in the Grade III, $250,000 American Handicap at Arlington Park for trainer Frank Kirby, but he'll remain at Lone Star.

"He'll be here," said Zimmerman's agent Scott Hare. "We're trying to win a riding title."

Zimmerman began Friday's action with a 10-win lead over Cliff Berry and Luis Quinonez, 73-63.

PAST BOB JOHNSON MEMORIAL STAKES WINNERS: Past winners of the Bob Johnson Memorial Stakes: Zarb's Magic (1997), Prince of the Mt. (1998), Desert Air (1999), T.B. Track Star (2000), Captain Countdown (2001), Mountain General (2002), Pie N Burger (2003), Rare Cure (2004), Shaky Town (2005) and Nobodywantmetilnow (2006). Last year, Nobodywantmetilnow was clocked in 1:34.90, the first year the race was moved to turf. The average winning Beyer Speed Figure is 99.

JOHNSON FAMILY MEMBERS TO BE ON HAND - Judy Johnson, the widow of former Texas Horse of Representative Robert Ellis Johnson, will be joined by family members and friends in the winner's circle for the trophy presentation of the race that honors her late husband. Born in Dallas in 1926, Bob Johnson served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1957-63, and was a major player in the 1986 lobbying efforts to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in Texas. For more than three decades, he was greatly respected by members of the Texas legislature until a heart attack claimed his life in March 1995 in Temple, Texas at the age of 66.

BERRY, QUINONEZ OUT OF TOWN SATURDAY - Jockeys Cliff Berry and Luis Quinonez, who began Friday's action tied for second in the Lone Star Park jockey standings with 63 wins apiece, will be out-of-town Saturday to ride mounts in lucrative graded stakes for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel on Arlington Park's Million Day Preview card. Berry will pilot Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes champ Going Ballistic in the Grade II, $250,000 American Derby. Quinonez rides Ouija Board Handicap runner Brownie Points in the Grade III, $150,000 Modesty Handicap.

LONE STAR TRACK RECORD HOLDER MISS MISSILE IN CANTERBURY STAKES - Miss Missile, who earlier this season ran the fastest 4 ½ furlongs in Lone Star Park history (:51.18), was entered in Saturday's $45,000 Canterbury Park Stakes by owner/trainer Charlie Smith. Just two weeks ago, the Golden Missile filly finished seventh in the Grade III Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs after finishing fourth as the even-money favorite in the TTA Sales Futurity on June 9.

AFTER FRIDAY ONLY SIX LIVE RACING DATES REMAIN - After Friday, only six live racing dates remain at Lone Star Park's 2007 Spring Thoroughbred Season. Closing day is Sunday, July 29.

BACK 40, DRINK SPECIALS HIGHLIGHT FRIDAY'S PARTY AT THE PARK - Live country music by Back 40 and drink specials from 7-11 p.m. highlight Friday night's "Party at the Park" in the Courtyard of Champions. There also will be a special promotional appearances by 96.3 KSCS. Friday's 10-race card begins at 6:35 p.m. CT.

LIVE MUSIC BY THE PROJECT BETWEEN RACES SATURDAY - There will be live party music by The Project between races Saturday from 12-4 p.m. in the Courtyard of Champions. Also, there will be a special promotion appearance by ESPN 103.3 FM.

MOVIE NIGHT AFTER THE RACES SATURDAY NIGHT - After Saturday's 11-race program concludes at approximately 6:15 p.m., customers are invited to stick around for "Movie Night." This week's showcased attraction is Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, the popular horseracing movie starring Dakota Fanning. The 2005 film is loosely based on the former Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained runner Mariah's Storm. The movie will be shown in its entirety on the infield JumboTron and television monitors following the 11th and final race.

SENIOR CITIZEN'S DAY - Sunday is Senior Citizen's Day where all patrons age 62 and up will receive free general admission with proof of identification.

LONE STAR JOCKEYS TO STAGE DON MACBETH DINNER, DANCE & AUCTION TUESDAY NIGHT - The Lone Star Park jockey colony will stage their second annual Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund Dinner, Dance and Auction on Tuesday night at The Stage Coach Ballroom in Fort Worth (2516 E. Belknap). Tickets to the 7 p.m. casino night event, billed as "Wild, Wild, West," are $20 and includes dinner. Period costumes are encouraged. There will be a "Cancan Review" and dancing to live music by The Even Money Band. Proceeds will benefit injured and disabled jockeys and exercise riders. For more information, contact Pat Barrett at (214) 755-2021.


· 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Drive Thru Wagering at Gate 2.

· 10:25 a.m. - Parking Gates 1-5, Post Time Pavilion and Jockey Club Lounge (private) open.

· 11:30 a.m. - Grandstand opens.

· 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Live party music in the Courtyard of Champions by The Project.

· 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. - Lone Star Park Handicapping Seminar with The Dallas Morning News' Rick Lee and Lone Star Park track announcer John Lies on the first floor of the Grandstand (and public address system/television monitors).

· 1:35 p.m. - The first of 11 live races at Lone Star Park.

· 2:43 p.m. - Simulcast of the Louisiana Breeders' Oaks (Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles) from Louisiana Downs (Race 4) - the first of eight Thoroughbred stakes that help comprise Louisiana Champions Day.

· 3:44 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade I, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (3-year-old fillies at 1 ¼ miles) from Belmont Park; features Mother Goose winner Octave, Godolphin's Folk and the Steve Asmussen-trained Humble Janet.

· 4:06 p.m. - Simulcast of the $200,000 Virginia Oaks (3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf) from Colonial Downs; features 2006 Champion 2-Year-Old Female Dreaming of Anna and Ashland winner Christmas Kid.

· 4:24 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade II, $250,000 American Derby (3-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles on turf) from Arlington Park; features the Todd Pletcher-trained Pleasant Strike, Dermott Weld's Irish invader Perfect Casting, the Bill Mott-trained Lattice and Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes champ Going Ballistic (ridden by Cliff Berry and trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel).

· 4:44 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade II, $1 million Virginia Derby (3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles on turf) from Colonial Downs; features Louisiana Derby champ Circular Quay, Colonial Turf Cup one-two Summer Doldrums and Strike a Deal and Steve Asmussen's Jefferson Turf Cup winner Inca King.

· 4:54 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade III, $200,000 Arlington Handicap (3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf) from Arlington Park; features Manhattan Handicap fourth Cosmonaut, multiple stakes winner Go Between and Cloudy's Knight.

· 5:24 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade III, $150,000 Modesty Handicap (fillies and mares at 1 3/16 miles on turf) from Arlington Park; features Beverly Hills Handicap fourth Mabadi, the Todd Pletcher-trained Almonsoon, the Neil Drysdale-trained Sohgol and Ouija Board Handicap runner-up Brownie Points (ridden by Luis Quinonez and trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel).

· 6:47 p.m. - Simulcast of the $45,000 Canterbury Park Lassie Stakes (2-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs) from Canterbury Park; features Lone Star Park 4 ½-furlong track record-holder Miss Missile, owned and trained by Charlie Smith.

· 8:00 p.m. - Simulcast of the Grade II, $300,000 San Diego Handicap (3-year-olds & up at 1 1/16 miles) from Del Mar; features Strub Stakes champ Arson Squad, Californian Stakes winner Buzzards Bay and the Jim Helzer-owned C'Mon Tiger.

back to TTHBPA Infomation