11/10/2004 12:00AM

Winner stuns even her trainer


PORTLAND, Wash. - One Fast Cowgirl paid a modest $8 to win Saturday's $19,280 Janet Wineberg Stakes, but that was only because she was coupled in the wagering with two others from trainer Ben Root's barn.

"If she hadn't been coupled with the other two, I bet she would have been 50-1," said Root. "I know I never would have bet on her."

Root felt his best chance in the six-furlong Janet Wineberg was Miss Bliss, who earned the best Beyer Speed Figure in the field with an impressive win over maiden special weight company on Oct. 23. He also thought My Emy My Amy had an outside chance with the addition of blinkers, which seemed to wake her up in the morning. One Fast Cowgirl, a debuting daughter of Baquero and Excellent Fettle who is owned by the trainer's mother, Cookie Root, was strictly an afterthought.

"I entered her in a maiden race, and it was only after that race didn't fill that I decided to throw her in the stakes," Root admitted. "The idea was to give her some experience to help set her up for next time. Her works hadn't been exceptional, so I really didn't think she had any chance to win."

By the time Root decided to enter One Fast Cowgirl in the Janet Wineberg, the riders he usually uses already had mounts in the full field of 12. He tabbed apprentice Kristin O'Donnell to ride almost by default.

"I don't think Kristin had ever ridden for me before, but she had galloped several horses for me over the last couple of years," said Root. "I was talking to my dad about who we could get to ride One Fast Cowgirl as we were leaving the barn area, and Kristin was standing there at the gate. We thought, 'Why not give her a shot?' "

They did, and O'Donnell made the most of her opportunity. She allowed One Fast Cowgirl to open a 1 1/2-length lead over the favored Amelia True Heart with a half-mile in 46.29 seconds, then maintained that advantage to the wire in 1:13.41. Miss Bliss got up for second by a half-length over Wice O Kat, while Amelia True Heart faded to seventh. Jockey Shawna Barber said the favorite had no apparent excuse.

"When she was sitting outside of horses I thought, okay, she is really going to fire big," said Barber. "Then she lugged in to the rail and she stopped running. I think she just got tired."

Root couldn't say what is next for One Fast Cowgirl, who is a full sister to last season's Preview Stakes winner, Might E Man.

"I really don't know what I'll do with her," he said. "I was going to run her back in a maiden race, but obviously I can't do that now. To tell you the truth, I'm in shock."

Week of racing to honor 'Doc Dickey'

The Portland Meadows community will pay an extraordinary tribute to one man this week, when every race will be dedicated to the memory of Dr. Glen Richard Vandervort, who was universally known at the track as "Doc Dickey."

Doc Dickey, a highly respected veterinarian and horseman for more than 50 years, died last August at 82.

Thirty-three individuals, businesses, and organizations will sponsor Doc Dickey Days, which will include blanket ceremonies after every race on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In addition, the Oregon division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will sponsor a memorial dinner for friends and family of Doc Dickey at Portland Meadows after the races on Saturday.

Roberts brings in string from Bay Meadows

The local horse population received a welcome addition early this week when trainer Tommy Roberts shipped 10 horses here from northern California. Director of racing Jerry Kohls said up to 15 stalls will eventually be provided for Roberts, who resumed his training career at the recently concluded Bay Meadows meeting after an absence of several years.

Roberts, the son of trainer Clint Roberts, won training titles at Longacres in 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, and 1987. In 1986 he established a single-season record at Longacres with 81 wins. That record stood until 1991, when Ben Harris saddled 93 winners.

The 49-year-old Roberts, who also won training titles at Yakima Meadows and Playfair, intends to campaign at Emerald Downs next summer.

* Apprentice Anne Sanguinetti has departed to ride at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas, which runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 23. Sanguinetti, 19, a protege of trainer Dennis Ward, began the Portland Meadows meeting with one win and a 10-pound apprentice allowance. She got her fifth career win here on Nov. 1 and has since ridden with a seven-pound allowance.