01/20/2006 12:00AM

Boss lady Moss visits her stock


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Maggi Moss's presence in New York racing is felt virtually on a daily basis. Until Friday, her presence at a New York track had never been known.

On an unseasonably warm January morning, Moss stood outside trainer Gary Contessa's Aqueduct barn as her 19 horses were paraded before her. More often than not, Moss was able to correctly identify each of them though she had never seen any of them up close.

"I love horses; the reason I don't come to these tracks more often is if I get to know them I get very sentimental,'' said Moss, a 54-year-old trial lawyer from Des Moines, Iowa, who came to New York to watch her horse Knox run in Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap. "If I watch these horses on TV and I don't get attached to them, it's a lot easier to lose them.''

Since getting into the game as an owner in 1997, Moss has built a very successful operation. She has been a five-time leading owner at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, and last fall at Belmont she tied Joseph Allen and Barry Schwartz for meet-leading owner with seven wins. Overall, in 2005, Moss went 19 for 101 in New York, making her the ninth-leading owner on this circuit.

Since the inner track opened Nov. 30, Moss's seven wins have her tied with Paraneck Stable for top honors among owners.

Moss has 50 horses in training, the bulk with Contessa. She also has horses with Dick Clark in Iowa and Tom Amoss in Louisiana, and she recently had Robert Klesaris claim two horses for her to run at Gulfstream Park.

Until last year, Moss dealt primarily with claiming horses. However, Contessa convinced Moss to attend a few of the 2-year-old sales and the two have hit paydirt. According to Contessa, Moss purchased five 2-year-olds last year and all have won, including Sunshine Alpine, a daughter of Gold Case who won for maiden-claiming $50,000, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 66. Truely Alone, a New York-bred daughter of Favorite Trick, was purchased for $10,500 and has won 2 of 6 starts.

Moss also bought Thekatcame-home, who won the Prairie Meadows Debutante, and was voted Iowa-bred 2-year-old filly champion.

Moss, who is single, approaches her Thoroughbred business with the same diligence as her job as a lawyer. She studies the Form and watches races before work in the morning and then again after work at night. She speaks with Contessa for at least one hour every morning, going over potential claims.

Moss said she's not in racing "to own a lot of stakes horses or to get famous. This is more of a business. I love the competition, the challenge of finding them. I really like the work.''

Moss's love of horses began when she was a child. She won the hunter competition three years in a row during equine events held at Madison Square Garden in the mid-1980's.

Moss also maintains a keen interest in her horses following their racing careers. She said she has the first horse she ever claimed, Apak, at her Iowa trainer's farm. She also recently bought back Northwest Hill, an 8-year-old gelding whom Moss had twice claimed and who was recently claimed from her, but who was injured.

Pool Land heads Summer Colony

The connections of Pool Land don't feel the one-week delay in the $60,000 Summer Colony Stakes will have an adverse effect on their 4-year-old filly, who seeks her third consecutive win.

The Summer Colony, run at one mile, was originally scheduled for last Sunday, but was postponed when the card was canceled due to weather. Seven of the nine fillies originally entered for last week are back in on Sunday.

If anything, Pool Land may have been helped by the postponement as now she will break from post 4 whereas last week she was assigned post 8.

"She was coming into it well last week and she's just about the same this week,'' said Seth Benzel, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "She had a another breeze and I was happy with the way she came out of it.''

Pool Land may have to deal with early pace pressure from three-time stakes winner Amazing Buy, which could set things up for an off-the-pace run from Victory Pool or Dina.

Fragoso eyes Wednesday return

Jockey Pablo Fragoso escaped serious injury in Thursday's spill in the seventh race, but will take off his mounts this weekend and plans to return on Wednesday.

Jose Morales, Fragoso's agent, said Fragoso was just body sore after he was thrown from his mount, Gonna Be Love, about 20 yards from the wire in Thursday's seventh race. Fragoso was taken off the track on a stretcher and transported via ambulance to Jamaica Hospital. X-rays of his back were negative.

"He's just body sore,'' Morales said. " A couple of days will him some good.''

* Jockey Jose Santos is fast approaching the 4,000-win plateau. With two wins on Friday's card, Santos now has 3,994 career victories, according to Daily Racing Form statistics.