12/11/2006 12:00AM

Hot apprentice won't go to New York


MIAMI - Jermaine Bridgmohan, the red-hot apprentice rider who is giving Manoel Cruz all he can handle in the battle for the Tropical at Calder riding title, has decided to forego his original plans to spend the winter at Aqueduct and will instead stay home and try his luck at the upcoming Gulfstream Park meet, which begins on Jan. 3.

Bridgmohan and his agent, Corey Moran, wrestled with the decision to leave or stay for the past couple of weeks. But with the 18-year-old apprentice piling up victories at a dizzying rate, business has been booming, with many Northern-based horsemen already expressing an interest in obtaining Bridgmohan's services both here and for races in the opening book at Gulfstream.

"There are just so many compelling reasons to stay here and try to make a go of it at Gulfstream," said Moran, who also guided the fortunes of Bridgmohan's older brother, Shaun, when he had the bug nearly a decade ago. "We've been getting a good response from Northern horsemen who'll be racing at Gulfstream this winter. He just won a race for Barclay Tagg today without the bug and rode one for Allen Jerkens last week, and I've been turning down an enormous amount of business over here; he's become so popular lately.

"And the local people said they'll also support him across town," Moran added. "He'll really be the only bug rider over there."

Moran also reasoned that Aqueduct is not going to be an easy spot for a newcomer to crack this winter.

"Things aren't like they used to be in New York during the winter," said Moran. "With Ramon Dominguez and Eibar Coa and some of the other top-caliber riders staying North this season, it's a pretty tough riding colony. We know things aren't going to be easy when we get to the other side in a couple of weeks. But everything's just so positive about this kid right now, and it would be a big feather in his cap if he can hold his own during the Gulf meet."

Mach Ride will prep for Sprint

Mach Ride, who finished second to odds-on favorite Too Much Bling in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes here this past summer, worked five furlongs in 1:03.80 on Monday for trainer Steve Standridge. Mach Ride, a 3-year-old Rustlewood Farm homebred, is pointing for the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 27.

Mach Ride won his first four starts before running into Too Much Bling in the Carry Back. He has run twice since, finishing an unlucky fourth behind Henny Hughes in the Grade 1 King's Bishop and eighth after dueling for the lead over the Keeneland Polytrack in the Grade 3 Perryville Stakes on Oct. 13.

Standridge said he hopes to get one prep into Mach Ride prior to the Sunshine Millions Sprint.

Standridge should have two starters on Sunshine Millions Day. He is also pointing the talented 2-year-old Dream of Angels to the Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream. The well-traveled Dream of Angels shipped into Standridge's barn from Remington Park to win the Jack Price Juvenile in his first local start. Last Saturday, Dream of Angels equaled the stakes record of 1:10.80 while dominating the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs by 14 1/4 lengths.

Standridge said Dream of Angels would likely make his 3-year-old debut in Gulfstream's six-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes on Jan. 7.

Clement has two for McKnight

Trainer Christophe Clement said he plans to run both Revved Up and Relaxed Gesture in Saturday's Gradeo2, $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap.

Revved Up, beaten a neck by Meteor Storm in the 2005 McKnight, will be the starting highweight at 122 pounds. Relaxed Gesture is coming off a steady diet of Grade 1 races and is looking to rebound from a disappointing performance in the Canadian International at Woodbine.

* Grade 1 winner Take D'Tour worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Monday and will likely make her next start in the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap here on Dec. 30.