02/19/2002 1:00AM

Severinsen barn doors open for company


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Allen Severinsen thinks he may be saddling the winner in Thursday's co-feature at Golden Gate Fields, a $40,000 optional claiming race for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf.

He secretly hopes it is Moyo Simba he greets in the winner's circle, because that's the one he trains. But he could end up there with Thin Client, a colt he will saddle as a fill-in for trainer Richard Mettee.

"If he beats Moyo Simba, that's the way it goes," Severinsen said.

Caring for shippers is something trainers in northern California are often called upon to do. Severinsen will also saddle Thunderandwind for Mettee in Thursday's first race.

Both horses were shipped to his barn Tuesday.

"I treat them like anybody else. I treat them like they were my own," said Severinsen, who is often called upon by Southern California trainers to stable their horses when they come north.

"I've had horses worth a jillion dollars in my barn up here. You can't worry about them. You do your job. All the things in my control, I do properly."

Severinsen may be rooting for Moyo Simba, but he's not rooting against Thin Client, who made four starts as a 2-year-old in Great Britain before being purchased by the Amerman Racing Stables. Unraced since last Aug. 23, Thin Client makes his U.S. debut never having finished off the board.

Moyo Simba hasn't raced since a sixth-place finish in the Dec. 16 Gold Rush Stakes. The first three finishers in that race, Danthebluegrassman, U S S Tinosa, and Cappuchino have all won stakes races since.

Severinsen concedes he may have asked too much of Moyo Simba by running him in a stakes race just after the horse won his maiden, but finding races is not the easiest of tasks.

"When's the last time a race like this filled?" he asked.

Severinsen wanted to run Moyo Simba in a route. The fact it is on the turf is fine with him.

"In his case, it doesn't matter at all," Severinsen said. "He runs on either dirt or turf."

Severinsen has seen great improvement since Moyo Simba's first two starts on the fair circuit last summer when he ran for a $32,000 claiming tag.

"He's one of those horses you like more and more as time goes on," Severinsen said. "He'd definitely better going longer, and he'll get better as he gets older.

"He was very immature, but time and racing experience have let him come into his own. He's doing great and training well. With him, it's easy to be patient because you know in time he'll be better."