12/06/2005 12:00AM

'Seeker' just needs clean trip

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ALBANY, Calif. - Thursday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a six-furlong, $80,000 optional claimer for 2-year-old fillies, is a stakes by any other name.

The one to beat in the field of seven is , who may have been best in the Piedmont Stakes in her last start when she lost by a head to Talverna. Seam Seeker experienced traffic problems and had to wait for room at the quarter pole into the stretch before closing with a rush.

"She's a nice filly - classy," said trainer Ed Moger Jr.

Seam Seeker ran third to $450,000 yearling purchase Brahms Allegro in her debut, losing by 2 1/2 lengths. After winning her maiden in her next start, Seam Seeker finished in front of in the Piedmont, when Brahms Allegro was all but eliminated at the start.

The two meet in a rubber match Thursday.

"The first time she ran, I told the jockey to try to get her on the lead," Moger said of Seam Seeker.

But she didn't seem to like being asked early. Joe Castro, who has ridden her in each of her three starts, has let Seam Seeker settle in her last two races. While she has run faster opening quarters than she did in her debut, Seam Seeker seems to like to use her natural speed to get position rather than being urged.

In addition to Seam Seeker, Musical Wine also is stakes-placed, finishing second in a Washington-bred stakes at Emerald Downs.

Brahms Allegro is not the only high-priced yearling in the field. Insurmountable went for $210,000 and Steppin Out Rose for $75,000 at the same Keeneland September sale.

, who along with Ruttini is the only two-time winner in the field, could offer Seam Seeker her biggest challenge. She defeated Ruttini in her last start, and her two losses have come to stakes winners Talverna and Bai and Bai.

On opening day here, Hybird Diablo ducked in badly and grazed the temporary rail leaving the six-furlong chute. She found herself last, trailing by nine lengths after the opening quarter, but rallied to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

"We always thought she had talent, and she has worked well since then, but did she just freak when she hit the rail last time?" trainer Bill Morey Jr. asked.

He will get his answer on Thursday.