06/25/2002 11:00PM

Gerald Leigh, breeder, dead


LEXINGTON, Ky. - British breeder Gerald Leigh, whose program produced such runners as 1994 Breeders' Cup Mile winner Barathea, died of cancer June 21 at his home in England. He was 71.

Leigh, a property developer, was involved in Thoroughbred breeding since the early 1970's. His operation got off to a fast start with the mare Canton Silk. She went on to produce Group 1 winner Brocade, who in turn was the dam of Barathea, a champion in England and Ireland; this year's Irish 1000 Guineas winner, Gossamer; German Group 3 winner Zabar; and Grade 3 winner Free at Last.

His top runners this year are Gossamer and Act One, winner of the Group 1 Prix Lupin. Last year, their successes at 2 earned Leigh the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's Silver Rose Bowl as the year's leading breeder of flat runners.