10/02/2003 11:00PM

Sorting process starts here


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sunday's $60,000-added Courtship Stakes at Bay Meadows will serve as important guidepost for the trainers of the six 2-year-old fillies entered in the six-furlong race.

The lightly raced fillies who have run in Washington and northern and Southern California will begin the sorting-out process that will determine their future direction.

Bianconi Baby, a 10-length winner in her Sept. 14 debut at Emerald Downs, is one of the contenders, but, obviously, has questions to answer for trainer Terry Gillihan.

Trainer Dave Bennett, said Gillihan, "had her up there, and I ran second to her." He was speaking of the six-furlong Sept. 14 race won going wire-to-wire in 1:09.60.

Bianconi Baby has been in Gillihan's care for 10 days, with Bennett going to Arizona with most of his horses, and she has impressed Gillihan thus far.

"She's a big good-looking filly," he said. "From what I've seen, I think she'll listen to the rider. She doesn't seem like a run-off type that needs the lead. She seems fairly smart and shows some grit."

She will have to in a field that includes stakes-winning Go Ask Daisy; Little Foxy Baby, who has won her first two starts in wire-to-wire style; and Upitty Kitty, who ran second to Halfbridled after taking the lead in the lane in her debut.

Trainer William E. Morey, who has another stakes-placed 2-year-old filly, Brite Roxie, in his barn, has been "pleasantly surprised" by Little Foxy Baby, who has gone head-and-head for the opening half mile in both her starts and pulled away late.