Arthur I. Appleton's Bridlewood Farm, one of Florida's best-known Thoroughbred operations, will be placing more emphasis on commercial ventures and less on its private racing stable in the future.
"We'll probably retain only 15% to 20% of our crop of about 100 foals each year and sell the rest as yearlings or 2-year-olds," said Bridlewood's general manager, George Isaacs. "Mr. Appleton is getting advanced in age, and his family wants to continue with the farm and ensure his legacy. One way to do that is to have a commercial enterprise. We've been gradually leaning that way the last several years."
Bridlewood sold Southern Image, a colt by Halo's Image, for $300,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select juvenile auction. He was the sale's second-highest-priced horse. Bridlewood will offer additional 2-year-olds in April at Keeneland and the OBS spring open sale.
In early March, a Bridlewood-bred daughter of Stormy Atlantic brought $1.9 million at Barretts, establishing a world record for 2-year-old filly in training sold at public auction. However, Bridlewood was not the consignor. The farm had sold her (through Taylor Made Sales Agency) for $31,000 as a yearling at Keeneland last September.
"We couldn't ask for any better publicity," Isaacs said.
On March 18, the day before the $300,000 colt went through the sale ring at OBS, Bridlewood homebred Forbidden Apple was honored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association as its 2001 Horse of the Year. North of Eden, the dam of Forbidden Apple, was recognized as the Broodmare of the Year.