11/28/2003 12:00AM

Bridlewood sires hit big on Million Day

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Skip Trial and Halo's Image, who stand at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, were the principal winners on Florida Million Day at Calder Race Course Nov. 15.

Skip Trial, who turns 22 next year, is closing in on the $30 million mark for progeny earnings thanks in part to Best of the Rest, who won the $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic on Florida Million Day, and Scapade, winner of the $200,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff.

Halo's Image is the sire of the unbeaten Sir Oscar, who put away the previously unbeaten Wynn Dot Comma in the Jack Price Juvenile to run his unblemished streak to six.

Best of the Rest is scheduled to be retired in January to Farnsworth Farms in Morriston, where he will stand for $3,500 live foal.

"There's not much more for him to do," says Farnsworth's owner, Mike Sherman, who said Best of the Rest may run two more times, then be shipped to the farm in time for the opening of the breeding season.

Speed and looks

Gibson County, a multiple-stakes-winning sprinter raced by Mike Pegram, is the only new stallion for 2004 at McKathan Farm in Reddick. A winner of $376,465 in five seasons of racing, mostly in California, Gibson County impressed farm manager Luke McKathan with his looks.

"Both of my boys" - J.B. and Kevin McKathan - "told me that I ought to take a look at the horse," McKathan said. "Mike was willing to make a deal so long as the horse had a good home. Fell in love with Gibson County the minute I saw him. Whooee, he's a good lookin' dude."

Gibson County is a foal of 1997 and stands a shade under 16 hands. He is by the Nasrullah line stallion In Excess and is out of Miss Gibson County, by Winrightt. Miss Gibson County won nine stakes and $545,873, mostly sprinting. She is a full sister to the multiple stakes winners Big Jewel and Charlie's Paradise.

"Here's how I look at it," said McKathan. "I got 40 mares and I breed for the sales - especially the 2-year-old sales. Most horses who won as much as Gibson County will cost you a bundle in stud fees. I'm standing him for $2,500 live foal and if he doesn't get that much outside business, it's okay with me; he'll get plenty of mine. He's got great looks and an honest pedigree and he was a racehorse."

McKathan stood stallions in the past, but not for the last 15 years or so. He thinks Gibson County will "prove worth my waiting."

Mongoose new at Signature

Signature Stallions in Reddick has added Mongoose to its roster for next year. A Grade 1 stakes winner by Broad Brush-Hay Patcher, by Hoist the Flag, Mongoose entered stud last year at Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Kentucky where he was booked to 40 mares.

"He's very attractive, about 16 hands, and is the first of the Broad Brush line to stand in Florida," said Signature Stallion manager Adam Staple. "Those who like the blood of Turn-to in the pedigree get plenty of it in Mongoose."

Mongoose is the property of Gary and Mary West, owners of the millionaire Dollar Bill, who also enters stud this coming season at Signature Stallions. Mongoose, who stood his initial season in Kentucky for a $5,000 fee, will stand his second season for $4,000 live foal.