11/06/2003 12:00AM

Baquero's daughters dominate


PORTLAND, Ore. - Saturday's $15,480-added Janet Wineberg Stakes for Oregon-bred juvenile fillies figures to be something of a showcase for Baquero, who is one of the more promising sires to enter stud in the Northwest in recent years.

Baquero, a son of Forty Niner - known as a sire of sires - out of millionaire Fit For a Queen, compiled a record of 19-2-5-5 for $123,758 in earnings before he was injured in the 1998 Preakness. Dr. Jack Root purchased Baquero privately and began standing the horse at his Oakhurst Thoroughbreds farm in Newberg, Ore., in 2000. Baquero is being represented by his first crop of 2-year-olds.

Three members of that crop will contest the six-furlong Janet Wineberg, including the certain favorite, Americas Pride. Claimed out of her fifth start and second win for $16,000 by the partnership of Al Adams, Dave Israel, and Jack Garrison at Emerald in July, Americas Pride came back to win the $35,000 Knights Choice Stakes at six furlongs on Aug. 2. She then ran second to Sala de Oro, Emerald's 2-year-old filly champ, in the $75,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at a mile on Aug. 31. Americas Pride was given a month off after the Shinpoch, then was shipped to Portland Meadows to the barn of trainer Linda Northam to prepare for the Wineberg.

"She has been doing really well," Northam said. "Fitness really wasn't a concern after her Emerald campaign, so I just gave her a couple of easy works and then blew her out three furlongs in 35.60 last Friday. She has a lot of natural speed, but she has matured to the point where she will relax and do what you want. I think she is ready to run her race."

Americas Pride, incidentally, is one of two stakes winners from Baquero's first crop. The other is Classa Red Wine, who won two stakes last summer at Northlands Park in Alberta.

Also in: Belle Forche and Baquera

Two other Baquero fillies pointing for the Wineberg are Belle Forche and Baquera, who ran second and third to the talented Ms Lady Palace in a five-furlong maiden special weight race here on Oct. 25. Ms Lady Palace, a He's Tops filly who was coming off three solid efforts at Emerald, will skip the Wineberg.

"She wasn't eligible, and it would cost us $3,096 to supplement her," said her owner and trainer, Robert Weatherwax. "It makes more sense for us to wait two more weeks for the Lassie Stakes, because she won't have to be supplemented to that one."

In her debut, Belle Forche was beaten just over a length by Ms Lady Palace, and trainer Ben Root sees plenty of room for improvement.

"She ended up dueling for the lead from the inside, and that's a tough trip for an inexperienced filly," he said. "I thought she held on very gamely, and I'll be surprised if she doesn't move forward off that race."

Root, who is the son of Baquero's owner, said Belle Forche is typical of her sire's progeny.

"Just about all the Baqueros I've seen are big, muscular, and athletic, and they can train hard and stay sound," he said. "Belle Forche fits that description, and I like her quite a bit."

Back Street Gal going to California

Trainer Jim Fergason reported that Back Street Gal, last year's horse of the meeting here and a winner of six of seven career starts, will run next at Golden Gate.

"She is a Washington-bred and most of the stakes here are for Oregon-breds, so I thought she would be better off down there," he said. "Billy McLean will train her for me, and she will probably stay down there for several races. I'd like to try her on the turf."

Handicapping contest Nov. 15-16

Portland Meadows will hold the first of its handicapping contests at the meeting on Nov. 15 and 16. The entry fee is $200, and the guaranteed payout will be at least $10,500. In addition, the winner of the November contest will join previous winners Steve Jackson, Bill Marquis, and Sean Felix to complete the track's four-person team in the NTRA/Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January.

* The Washington Horse Racing Commission will meet Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m. in the Peppertree Auburn Inn at 401 8th St. SW in Auburn, Wash. Among the items up for discussion and possible action is the disposition of purse funds, owners' bonuses, and breeders' awards generated through simulcast operations at Spokane's defunct Playfair Race Course.