07/16/2001 12:00AM

Gibson County wires in Answer Do


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Gibson County won his first stakes in 18 months with a front-running win in the $75,025 Answer Do Stakes at Hollywood Park on Monday, the closing day of the spring-summer meeting.

Gibson County ($3.40) ran 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:01.23, holding off the late rally of The Morris Monroe, who lost by three-quarters of a length. A 4-year-old colt by In Excess, Gibson County set fractions of 21.77 and 43.50 seconds, leading by as many as 4 1/2 lengths. Indiahoma finished third, followed by McCordnskuba and Tzigane.

Gibson County was ridden by Laffit Pincay, Jr., a late substitute for David Flores, who took off his mounts Monday to undergo treatment for cracked teeth suffered when he was kicked in the chin in a paddock accident on Friday.

Gibson County has won five of 14 starts and $298,750 for owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert. The Answer Do, restricted to California-breds, was Gibson County's first stakes win since the 1999 California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita.

* In the third race, Jack Carava clinched his first training title when Kipper's Kitten gave him his 22nd win of the meet.