08/31/2004 12:00AM

After 100 starts, gelding U.S. Gold had done enough

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - U.S. Gold reached a remarkable milestone in his last race at Monmouth Park: 100 starts in a career that began in 1997.

To reach the century mark is a testimony to the heart, determination, and durability of the 9-year-old New Jersey-bred gelding. Unfortunately, the final chapter for many of racing's veteran warriors produces an unhappy ending.

This is a happy tale, as U.S. Gold has been retired and will spend his golden years in comfort thanks to the generous spirit of a former owner.

U.S. Gold, bred and trained initially by Eddie Broome, had 14 different trainers and a number of owners during his career, including Maggi Moss, a Chicago attorney who had him for most of 2001.

Moss stepped in after U.S. Gold ran a badly beaten sixth in his final race, on Aug. 19, for trainer Mike Farro. She purchased the horse for $2,500 and will arrange to send him to a retirement home.

It was time to say goodbye.

Farro claimed the horse for $6,250 on July 7 for Kyle Kennedy, a new client. U.S. Gold was beaten 16 or more lengths in his three starts since the claim.

"He was training okay, but he wasn't running well," said Farro. "He's old and he's tired. Before something bad happens, he'll get a nice home."

Moss contacted trainer Kim Laudati, who was an assistant when U.S. Gold was in Gary Contessa's barn in 2001.

"She called me out of the blue," said Laudati. "She saw the horse still running in the Daily Racing Form. U.S. Gold made more than $100,000 for Maggi the short time she had him. She called me to help purchase the horse."

U.S. Gold finished with 21 wins and $513,037 in earnings.

"It's a nice thing to see," said Farro. "He certainly deserves it."

Dutrow entry looks tough in Thursday feature

Trainer Richard Dutrow has two strong runners in My Husband and Kell for the $51,000 featured allowance race at six furlongs on Thursday.

My Husband looks for a third straight win. The 3-year-old gelding won an open claiming race on July 18 and was claimed by Dutrow for $28,000. He quickly recouped almost the entire investment, as My Husband won a Jersey-bred allowance in his first start for the new barn.

Dutrow acquired a versatile horse who has won going long and short, and on turf and dirt.

My Husband earned a 77 Beyer Figure in the turf race in which he was claimed, and regressed to a 72 for the six-furlong main-track victory last time. A rebound to the 77 range would make him very competitive as he tries to climb the allowance ladder.

Kell, a 3-year-old colt, makes his third start for Dutrow after running twice at 2 for Alan Goldberg.

He posted an allowance win to start this season and then moved up a condition, where he set the pace before tiring to fifth. The Beyers were consistent in both outings, a 72 and 73.

Orion's Jade has been knocking on the door in this nonwinners-of-two allowance class. He has a second and two thirds in three starts since scoring his initial allowance win. Overall, the 5-year-old gelding hasn't finished off the board in five starts at the meet.