07/18/2003 12:00AM

Two juveniles who pack a late punch


VALLEJO, Calif. - Two-year-old winners at this time of year are often a precocious lot, relying on speed, innate talent, and early development to win races.

Brite Roxie and Irish Ides, who will run in Sunday's $50,000-added Solano County Juvenile Filly Stakes, don't quite fit that picture. They meet eight rivals in the five-furlong stakes race for 2-year-old California-bred fillies.

"She's not flashy," trainer William E. Morey said of Brite Roxie.

Although she was always good in preparing for her debut, Irish Ides was "only third or fourth on the depth chart," according to trainer Greg Gilchrist - until she raced.

"Working's one thing; showing it on the racetrack is another," Gilchrist said. "Her stock went way up."

Both are winners.

Brite Roxie captured a $32,000 maiden claiming race June 12 at 4 1/2 furlongs at Bay Meadows in her second start. Irish Ides won her debut in a $25,000 maiden claiming race June 25 at five furlongs at Pleasanton.

While neither race earned a particularly high rating, both came from off the pace, finishing well, a tactic that may bode well at Sunday's longer distance.

"I like the way she did it. She looked like an experienced filly," Morey said. "That's why I feel confident here."

Morey said he was impressed, but not surprised.

"I've had her all along. She's just been real smart," he said. "She's done everything right."

Gilchrist also said he was impressed by his filly - and just a bit surprised.

"I threw a lot at her, running in a strange place, and, as usual, Pleasanton was a speed-favoring track," Gilchrist said. "I knew she wouldn't show a lot of speed. I told the jockey to try to keep her in the race but not to beat her up. She fell back on the turn, but when she got to the outside, she came running."

The competition is tougher Sunday. Two Southern California-based fillies, Nighthunter Two and Sweet Nine, will be the ones to beat.

Nighthunter Two finished second as the favorite after dueling on the lead in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton. Sweet Nine bobbled at the break, rushing up to duel Nighthunter Two before fading.