Willing Waupaca Wins Woodchopper

(from Fair Grounds report)
Waupaca completed a weekend stakes sweep for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel by wiring the field in the $75,000 Woodchopper Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Waupaca won in 1:44.33 for the 1 1/16-mile test over the Stall-Wilson turf course on Saturday. Von Hemel took the Furl Sail Handicap on Friday with Bedanken.

Ridden by Robby Albarado, Waupaca assumed command from the start and led the field into the stretch before repelling a series of challenges. The son of Forest Wildcat tenaciously fought back on the rail to turn away bids early in the stretch, and then stubbornly held off the late charges of Gentlemen J J and Stone Cat.

"He broke real sharp and he just rated himself on the first turn and down the backstretch," said Albarado. "The fractions were favorable to us, and when asked deep, he really dug in."

Waupaca ($9.60) prevailed by a neck over Gentlemen J J, while Stone Cat, the 2-1 favorite, finished third.

Waupaca increased his earnings to $141,565 and won for the sixth time in 16 career starts. He has now won four of his five starts on turf.

(Chart, Equibase)