11/14/2005 12:00AM

Moss-Sherman team runs three good ones

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ALBANY, Calif. - Art Sherman might have run the two best fillies in Sunday's $57,125 Piedmont Stakes, winning with Talverna and finishing fifth with Brahms Allegro.

Talverna was the second 2-year-old homebred filly to win for Jerry and Ann Moss last week. On Friday, Ruttina scored a $40,000 starter allowance win for them.

"This filly was still eligible for the first [allowance] condition," Sherman said after Talverna sat behind a three-way battle for the lead, rallied wide into the stretch, put away the pacesetters, and then held off Seam Seeker by a head.

Sherman was pleased for the Mosses, who also bred and campaigned Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo.

"They pick out horses that might do well for me," Sherman said of their partnership.

His first major success for the Mosses was Lindsay Jean, whom he turned into an earner of $388,160 and a multiple stakes winner, including the Grade 3 Brown Bess Handicap.

Sherman also developed My Captain, another homebred for the Mosses, into a multiple stakes winner.

My Captain was claimed for $50,000 in his last start, leaving Sherman's barn with $306,215 in earnings despite bad feet that prevented him from running on wet tracks and that required constant evaluation and care.

When Sherman told the Mosses that My Captain had been claimed, he was touched by Jerry Moss's response.

"He said he appreciated what we'd done with the horse, "Sherman said. "I think I was more upset by it than he was. When you've had a horse for three years, it's tough to lose them. You get attached to certain horses. I still catch myself looking for him in his stall."

Sherman, closing in on 175 victories for the year, might have a special runner in Brahms Allegro.

She didn't leave the gate cleanly, then bobbled and steadied in her second jump out of the gate as jockey David Lopez lost both his irons - but somehow he stayed aboard, winding up near her withers.

Brahms Allegro was far back down the backstretch and around the turn but closed late, though she only managed to finish fifth.

"I just hope she came out of it all right," Sherman said after race. "She could have been closer if she was halfway through the pack earlier. It's hard to come off just one maiden race, but this race may help her a lot. I got one more short race into her, and now we'll look to go long. She'll be better when she goes long, particularly on the grass."

Stewards rule on two illegal substance cases

Stewards completed two cases involving medication violations.

Slew's Moment, winner of the eighth race on Nov. 7, 2003, tested positive for the prohibited bronchodilator albuterol. The stewards, acting on a proposed decision adopted by the California Horse Racing Board earlier this month, disqualified Slew's Moment from all purse money earned by owner Rancho Del Sol, trainer Roy Lumm, and jockey Jose Alferez.

Sleepy Jones, winner of an $8,000 claimer on June 3, was disqualified after a urine sample tested positive for clenbuterol, another bronchodilator. Owner David Currie, trainer Lloyd Mason, and jockey Macario Rodriguez were ordered to return all purse money, and Mason, as part of the stipulated agreement, was fined $3,000.

Gold Ruckus heads Wednesday feature

Gold Ruckus, a consistent 7-year-old gelding, looms the one to beat as he makes his first start in nearly two months in Wednesday's feature, a $40,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Although he hasn't run since competing in a $50,000 optional claimer on Sept. 24, Gold Ruckus has worked steadily in the interim.

The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has won more than $400,000 in his career, with $206,553 coming from turf races, in which he has 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 6 thirds in 28 starts.

Former stablemate Starspell, claimed in August, could provide the toughest competition.

Itstufftobegood, who won six straight starts earlier this year at Emerald Downs, figures tough, too. Itstufftobegood sat close early before weakening in the Tanforan Handicap in his last start.

Forty Niner attracts 14 nominees

No stakes are scheduled this weekend, but 14 horses were nominated for the $100,000 Forty Niner Handicap scheduled for Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving.

Multiple stakes winner Adreamisborn was nominated, as were Ace Blue, who won the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy last spring at Hollywood Park; Masterpiece, a Grade 1 winner in his native Argentina; and Melanyhasthepapers, winner of the Grade 3 Will Rogers at Hollywood Park last spring. Other stakes winners nominated were Easy Million, My Creed, Paraquedista, and Robledo.