04/13/2007 12:00AM

Santa Anita stakes double for Bridlewood


Harry Aleo had much to mourn following the death of his Eclipse champion sprinter Lost in the Fog. That caliber champion comes along but once in a lifetime for a relatively small racing stable - perhaps not.

Aleo has another sprinter named Smokey Stover, a 4-year-old gelding who is hopefully easing the loss of Lost in the Fog. Bred in Florida by Art Appleton and a son of the Bridlewood Farm resident stallion Put It On, Smokey Stover has a record of 7 wins and 4 seconds in 11 starts and earnings of $459,725. Last Saturday Smokey Stover's three-race winning streak became four when he won the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita.

Appleton's Bridlewood Farm had another West Coast stakes winner on the same card when Icy Atlantic, a 6-year-old son of Bridlewood's former stallion Stormy Atlantic won the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap. It was the sixth win in 32 starts for Icy Atlantic, who has earned $727,630.

Both the dam of Smokey Stover (Milady's Halo, by Jolie's Halo) and Icy Atlantic (Frosty Promise, by Frosty the Snowman) are by graded stakes-winning sires who were bred and raced by Appleton.

Statebreds - and homebreds - dominate

It does not have the economic impact of the Florida Millions, renewed each November at Calder Race Course, nor anywhere near the endowment and hype of the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream in January, but Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs each first Saturday of April has no shortage of supporters.

This past week at Tampa Bay Downs there was a modified version of Florida Cup Day. Heretofore, the conditions of the Cup races stated that Florida-breds were preferred. Because of a recent change in cataloging standards, four of the six stakes races Saturday were restricted to Florida-breds.

As it turned out all six stakes were won by Florida-breds. And, five of the stakes were won by homebreds. Trainer Bill Mott scored a double. In the $85,000 Cherokee River Stables Turf Classic, Peter Vegso's homebred Go Between went off the 3-10 favorite and won convincingly. Mott's other win came in the $85,000 L and D Farm Turf Distaff with Quite a Bride, a Stormy Atlantic filly owned and bred by Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

Florida influence still strong

Young Florida stallions are making their mark. True, there are no Florida stallions among the top 20 on the general sire list, but several of them did get their start in the Sunshine State. There are six Floridians among the leading 20 second-crop sires. They are, in ranking order, Three Wonders, Graeme Hall, Snow Ridge, Red Bullet, French Envoy, and Outofthebox.

Three Wonders, by Storm Cat, stands at Hidden Point Farm for $7,500 live foal. His first crop has had 51 starters and 20 winners, including one stakes winner. Graeme Hall, by Dehere, stands at Winding Oaks Farm for $7,500 live foal. His record reads 35 starters, 23 winners, and 2 stakes winners.

Snow Ridge, by Tabasco Cat, stands for a $5,000 live foal fee at Padua Stables. Forty-two of his get have started, 23 have won, including a stakes winner. Red Bullet, by Unbridled, stands at Adena Springs South for $15,000 live foal in '07. His 28 starters have produced 11 winners, including a stakes winner.

French Envoy, standing at Stonehedge Farm South for $5,000, is an 11-year-old son of Deputy Minister, and has 31 racing, with 11 winners and a stakes winner. Ocala Stud's Outofthebox, by Montbrook, stands for $7,500. Outofthebox has 42 starters and 15 of them have won. While he has no stakes winners, several winners are stakes-placed.