12/03/2001 1:00AM

Ross involved in two photos in one race


ALBANY, Calif. - The two happiest trainers heading into a new week of racing at Golden Gate Fields may be Larry Ross and Art Sherman, who saddled the winners in weekend stakes races.

Ross saddled Radar Contact, a $41.40 upset winner in the final strides of Saturday's Albany Handicap. Sherman had it much easier as he watched Lindsay Jean ($12.20) romp as the wire-to-wire winner of Sunday's Moment to Buy Handicap.

Radar Contact was so far back as he moved wide making the turn for home that jockey Adalberto Lopez wasn't sure he would win the six-furlong, $69,513 race.

"I knew we'd get a part of it, but I didn't really think we could get it all," Lopez said.

Rio Oro ran a strong race. Usually a front runner, he was fourth down the backstretch but showed a good kick late to lose by a head as Radar Contact was clocked in 1:08.66.

"I was down a little from the wire, and I didn't think he got there at first," Ross said. "When I saw the replay, I knew he'd won."

Ross actually won two photo finishes in the race. He saddled third-place finisher Secret Launch, who put his nose on the wire just before Love That Lion.

Ross wasn't sure if either of his horses would like the slop, but both did, particularly Radar Contact.

"When we were going behind the starting gate, he was just like a little kid playing in the puddles," Lopez said.

Sherman got Lindsay Jean from Richard Mandella in Southern California. "He said she just quit running," Sherman said.

In her first northern California start, Sherman saw what Mandella meant. Lindsay Jean finished last, beaten 19 3/4 lengths in a sprint.

"I didn't do anything different other than try her on grass," Sherman said. "We changed a little equipment with a figure-eight, and I tied her tongue."

Sherman thinks Lindsay Jean, a $250,000 purchase by Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss last year, is simply maturing.

"You get the feeling watching her work that she has some talent," he said. "You're always trying to see if you can get speed horses to relax and route. She's got a pedigree to be a runner, and she has great broodmare potential so the black type won't hurt."

* Wednesday's feature brings together a field of seven older sprinters in a $40,000 optional claimer. Mellow Fellow, the probable favorite, looks as if he could have been entered in Saturday's sprint stakes. Six of the seven entrants in the race have stakes experience.

* Frank Alvarado suffered only a sprained ankle and should ride again Wednesday after his spill aboard Sam Red Cat on Saturday. The 2-year-old colt was leading a maiden race when he stumbled and fell and had to be euthanized.