03/08/2002 12:00AM

Florida: Trippi heads new contingent

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The consensus among Florida breeders is that the 2002 group of first-season stallions is as promising a group as there has been in years, representing a rich variety of sire lines.

Karl Koontz of Ocala Stud pointed to newcomer Trippi (End Sweep-Jealous Appeal, by Valid Appeal), a Grade 1 stakes winner who has attracted more than 130 mares. "He has been high on the demand list since it was announced he would stand here," Kootz said. "You'd have to say he has a full book."

The question is, how full can you get? Trippi, bred by Harry T. Mangurian, Jr.'s Mockingbird Farm, was a major league speedster who won the Flamingo Stakes, a Grade 3 at nine furlongs, but was really a better sprinter-miler.

Bill Allen, farm manager for Farnsworth Farms, said that the farm's graded stakes winner Adcat (Storm Cat-Adorable Micol, by Riverman), will be well over the 100 mark.

"He's a Storm Cat, a good breeder, and gets mares in foal, so he should have no trouble with demand. It helps that he was a mature horse going into the stud."

Middlesex Drive (Pine Bluff-York Woods, by Mining) is at Dunhill Stud. He was second to Parade Ground in the Tampa Bay Derby and then went on to become a multiple graded stakes winner on the turf.

"Middlesex Drive will have a full book - already has his first mare in foal," said Adam Staple, a Dunhill spokesman. "What I like is that many of the mares going to him were sent by breeders who race. This will give the stallion's offspring the time, if they need it, to become racehorses."

Snuck In (Montbrook-Love Child, by Mugassas ), who stands at Cloverleaf Farms II), should come in at 75 mares or better, according to syndicate manager Bill Briggs. Snuck In won stakes at 2 and 3 and is typical of his sire's get in that he was at home from six to nine furlongs.

"The first mare we bred to him is in foal, so it's a good start," Briggs said.

Lexicon (Conquistadore Cielo-Felidia, by Golden Fleece) stands at Meadowbrook Farm. He was a multiple graded stakes winning sprinter on the West Coast as a 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-year-old.

And, as one might expect, breeders response to this speedster was early. The syndicated Lexicon, according to a farm spokesperson, should have between 60 and 70 mares.

Doug Henderson is the owner and nowadays the general manager of Marablue Farm, home of the syndicated Songandaprayer (Unbridled's Song-Alizea, by Premiership).

"Songandaprayer is syndicated and 80 seasons are accounted for." said Henderson. "He is doing a good job getting mares in foal, so I'd like to accommodate more mares if the conditions are right. I am very pleased with him."

Bruce Hill at Padua Stables was faced with launching the careers of two stallions: Delaware Township (Notebook-Sunny Mimosa, by Sunny North) and Exchange Rate (Danzig-Sterling Pound, by Seeking the Gold).

"It's been a good booking season," said Hill. "I expect both stallions will get books between 70 and 80 mares. And we are getting some mares from out of state for Exchange Rate. Both stallions already have mares in foal so we are over that hurdle."

Delaware Township was Florida's leading sprinter last year and retired $3,150 short of being a millionaire. Exchange Rate, himself a millionaire yearling purchase, won the Grade 2 Tom Fool as a 4-year-old and the Risen Star Stakes as a 3-year-old.

Put it Back (Honor and Glory-Miss Shoplifter, by Exuberant), standing at Bridlewood Farm, won the Riva Ridge, a Grade 2, and the Best Turn Stakes and had a perfect 5-for-5 record as a sprinting 3-year-old.

"He has been very well-received," said Bridlewood Farm's general manager, George Isaacs. "He has the quality and conformation that breeders look for in a stallion and judging from the responses we've been getting, he's on target to get 75 mares."