09/17/2001 11:00PM

Milicia does well off layoff

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Milicia, who has been pounding on the door in straight maiden races, may rate a narrow edge in Wednesday's Bay Meadows feature, a $32,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares at a mile on the grass.

Milicia has not started since June, but she has been working well for trainer Chuck Jenda, and she raced well off a layoff once before. She may lack a winning spirit - as evidenced by her career record of six seconds from 10 starts - but she has been close to some nice fillies.

She should fit well in Wednesday's race, which is restricted to fillies and mares who have started for $32,000 or less but have never won two races. She is eligible because she raced in maiden-claiming company early in her career, but all of her grass races have been in straight-maiden company.

The main threats appear to be Deputy Song, who finished second in a similar spot on the main track last time out, and Omaita, an invader from Southern California who showed speed to much tougher at Del Mar before fading to 10th and last.

*A field of about six, headed by Super Quercus, is shaping up for Saturday's $200,000 Bay Meadows Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Super Quercus, from the Bobby Frankel stable, has finished third in the Grade 1 Eddie Read and Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in his last two starts. He won a Grade 1 race in 1999. Russell Baze has been named to ride. Others expected to start include Sign of Hope, Alex Solis to ride; Takarian, Garrett Gomez; and Ghostly Minister, Kerrygold, and Monsajem, all no rider yet.

*Jockey Russell Baze won his 7,500th career race aboard Valid Double in the third race Saturday. Valid Double, a 2-year-old filly trained by Terry Knight, won the $12,500 maiden-claiming race by two lengths and paid $2.60. Baze trails only Laffit Pincay (9,216), the retired Bill Shoemaker (8,833) and Pat Day (8,069) on racing's all-time win-list.