05/20/2001 11:00PM

Gallagher's presses on post-Brody


ELMONT, N.Y. - Phil Trowbridge, the longtime farm manager of Gallagher's Stud, said he was flooded with condolence calls when the farm's owner, Jerry Brody, died Tuesday after a long illness.

Trowbridge said he lost a friend and a great boss when Brody, a popular and successful New York breeder for more than 20 years, passed away at age 78 in Miami.

Brody hired Trowbridge right out of college 25 years ago. "I graduated Saturday and was working at the farm on Sunday," Trowbridge, 45, recalled.

Trowbridge worked alongside Brody as he built his breeding and racing empire at the 600-acre Gallagher's Stud in Ghent, N.Y., which Brody initially purchased in 1976 to breed Angus cattle. Two years later, Brody, the owner of the popular Gallagher's Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in New York City, began laying groundwork for breeding Thoroughbreds.

One of Brody's first successes in the breeding shed was Allez Milord, who thrust New York-breds into the international spotlight in the 1980's by becoming a Group 1 winner in Europe and then a Grade 1 winner in this country, while racing for Brody and his wife, Marlene. Brody later sold Allez Milord, a son of Tom Rolfe, to Japanese interests for stud duty.

In all, Brody, a native of New York, bred 16 New York-bred stakes winners. Earlier this year, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders recognized him as the top breeder of 2000. The NYTB also honored Adcat, a stakes winner bred and raced by Brody, as champion turf horse. Adcat's dam, Adorable Micol, was voted top broodmare.

As a commercial breeder of New York-breds, Brody was a trailblazer. Gallagher's Stud bred the first New York-bred to sell for more than $700,000 at auction, a Seattle Slew colt, who brought $900,000 at Keeneland in 1999. Last year, a Storm Cat colt bred by Brody, out of Adorable Micol, became the first New York-bred to bring more than $1 million at auction when the hammer fell at $1.25 million for the 2-year-old.

Trowbridge said he soaked up countless valuable breeding theories from Brody and will miss their spirited conversations.

"He took a very aggressive approach; he wanted the best quality you can get from breeding a horse," Trowbridge said. "He bred high-class mares to good stallions and believed in a deep genetic pool.

"We always worked closely together and talked about breeding. We had very open discussions and sometimes, heated discussions. He had strong feelings and was very unique in his way of thinking outside of the box. He looked at what most people would do and said, 'If we do it this way, we'll end up with this.' He had a vision and he willed a lot of that to me. I learned a lot from him."

Trowbridge said Brody's wife would continue to operate Gallagher's Stud as it was before her husband's death. There are 50 horses in residence there, including the farm's only stallion, Repeal, and 20 of Brody's broodmares.

Phone call pays off

Last year, Kiaran McLaughlin had his eye on a 2-year-old New York-bred, Bakhoor, who was racing in California for the Maktoum family, for whom the trainer had horses in New York and Dubai.

McLaughlin rang the Maktoum's racing manager, Simon Crisford, and said, "Simon, this horse belongs in New York; he's a New York-bred."

McLaughlin got his wish a month ago when Bakhoor, a $330,000 yearling purchase, came into his Belmont Park barn. On Wednesday, the son of Cryptoclearance galloped to a 14 1/4-length win in a New York-bred maiden race at Belmont.

"I expected him to run well, but it was easier than I thought," McLaughlin admitted the day after the facile win.

McLaughlin said Bakhoor will run back in an allowance race early in June and then will be pointed to the $100,000 Mike Lee Handicap on June 30. The Mike Lee is the first leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-breds and Bakhoor, who is not an original nominee to the series, will have to be supplemented for $5,000 to start in the Mike Lee.

* Trainer Rick Violette reported that his New York-bred stakes winner Laken has been retired with a tendon injury and has been bred to Western Expression.