03/25/2002 12:00AM

Legendary Weave strictly business on and off track


ALBANY, Calif. - Sentiment sometimes plays a role in racing.

But trainer Ed Moger Jr., who will start Legendary Weave in Wednesday's feature race at Golden Gate Fields, said the decision by owners Curt and Lila Lanning to reclaim the colt one race after he had been claimed from them was not a sentimental one.

Legendary Weave drew the rail in the field of eight older allowance runners who will compete in the six-furlong feature.

Legendary Weave was claimed from the Lannings on Nov. 21 at Hollywood Park, but when he returned to the races at Santa Anita on Dec. 29, the Lannings claimed him for the same $62,500 price.

The Lannings purchased the colt for $26,000 at a yearling sale in Washington and saw him win two races, place second in two others, and run third in his other three starts as a 2-year-old

"It was business," Moger said of the decision to reclaim Legendary Weave. "He's a good, honest horse. He's a money maker."

Legendary Weave has earned $174,100 in 15 starts.

Moger knew Legendary Weave was healthy, but he gave the colt a three-month break after a hard campaign the last half of 2001.

Although based in northern California, Moger has raced Legendary Weave primarily in Southern California, where he won his debut and then finished second to Squirtle Squirt in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in his second start.

Legendary Weave has made only three of his 15 lifetime starts in northern California. He won the San Mateo Handicap then finished third in the Cal Juvenile, a Grade 3, at Bay Meadows and was second in the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields as a 2-year-old.

"There's more money down there," said Moger, explaining why he has preferred to run the colt down south.

"When we got him back, he was still eligible under these conditions."

Although Wednesday's race has the hint of a prep, Legendary Weave can sprint. He has a victory and a second-place finish in three starts at the six-furlong distance. He won his debut at five furlongs and won at 6 1/2 furlongs the day he was re-claimed.

"He always runs good, and he's obviously doing well," observed Moger.

Legendary Weave was claimed from owner Samuel Mevorach and trainer Jack Carava. One of his opponents in Wednesday's feature,Warm April, was claimed from Mevorach and Carava for $40,000 in his last start.

Both horses come out of winning races, and Warm April will be gunning for a third consecutive victory here, having won at six and 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita in his two most recent starts.

Contention runs deep in Wednesday's main event.

Texas Chili is also after a third straight win, with two victories hers at six furlongs Blue Tejano was second in his comeback race after a year's layoff. Pacing the Cage lost a photo after leading in the lane against similar in his last start. Window B has had a seven-week freshener after winning an allowance race.

Lytle Creek has won five of his past seven, and Road Afleet was fourth behind Pacing the Cage in his last start.

First victory for Romero

Hector Romero, 21-year-old nephew of jockey David Flores, won his first race Sunday, guiding Iced to a 1 1/2-length victory over Bucks Pirate in a one-mile $8,000 maiden claiming race.

The victory came in the 19th race for Romero, who grew up in Riverside in Southern California.

"I started a month and a half ago," Romero said.

"I was an exercise rider before that. All my life, I wanted to be a jockey.

* Seventeen older runners were nominated for Saturday's $100,000 Berkeley Handicap, a Grade 3 at one mile. The connections of Boss Ego, Bring the Heat, I'madrifter, Ironman Dehere, Palmeiro, Sirpa, and Takin It Deep have said they plan to start.