11/08/2003 12:00AM

Equine athletes come to aid of human breathren


ALBANY, Calif. - Sonoma State University, a Division II school known by sports fans as the alma mater of Dallas Cowboys all-pro offensive lineman Larry Allen, is turning to horse racing to save its athletic program.

After being informed by the NCAA that the school needs to generate $250,000 for athletic scholarships or face being demoted to Division III, which would mean the school could not award scholarships, Sonoma State assistant athletic director Russ Gardiner came up with a unique idea to raise money.

Two yearling colts have been donated to the school after their purchase at the October Barretts sale. The school is selling 1 percent ownership in each colt for $1,000, $500 of which is a tax-deductible donation to Sonoma State. Those purchasing shares will be part of a syndicate called Seawolf Stable and will be asked to donate 50 percent of each colt's winnings after expenses to the university.

One colt, to be named Seawolf in honor of the school's mascot, was a $15,000 purchase. He is a son of Swiss Yodeler out of the Naevus mare My Thellie. The other colt, to be named Sonoma Slew, was a $19,000 purchase. He is by Slewdledo out of the Magesterial mare Distant Love.

Northern California owner-breeder Tom Bachman, a member of the Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors, is listed as the buyer of both colts, although Gardiner will only say an anonymous donor gave the colts to the school. The colts are currently at Bachman's Pegasus Ranch near the university, which is located in Rohnert Park, Calif.

Gardiner came up with the idea in part because he is a friend of several Barretts executives.

"Tom says the colts are the real deal," Gardiner said.

"We hope to meet expenses for scholarships, and we're going to have fun. We will have an activity on campus on Sunday, Nov. 16, when people can see the horses and buy shares, but we already have close to 50 people signed up through word of mouth. We have some deans and vice presidents and former athletes.

"People are interesting in investing in Sonoma State, but they also like racehorses."

For information on Seawolf Stable, contact the Sonoma State Athletic Department at (707) 664-2521.

More Crafty captures Albany

More Crafty ($5.20) beat odds-on favorite My Captain by three-quarters of a length in the Albany Handicap on Saturday.

More Crafty sat in third behind a sizzling pace set by 3-year-old Souvenir's Lad in the six-furlong race. Souvenir's Lad, running for the first time since the California Derby on April 12, went the opening quarter in 21.48 seconds and the half in 43.44 with My Captain lapped right on him.

As My Captain moved to the lead, More Crafty was also making his move from the outside, and he won the stretch duel. He ran the six furlongs in 1:08.55.

More Crafty earned $33,350 to lift his career earnings to $118,250. He has 4 wins in 13 starts for Morey and the Chaiken Family Trust.

Mashiko eyes starter allowance

Mashiko, who missed by a neck in the Trooper Seven Stakes at Emerald Downs in his last start, has six rivals in Tuesday's feature, a six-furlong, $40,000 starter allowance race.

Midnight Velvet, second to stakes winner Very Vegas in her last start, heads a field of 10 2-year-old fillies in another race Tuesday, a $40,000 starter allowance at six furlongs.