Halo's Image, Florida’s leading sire in 2004 and 2006, died after suffering an apparent heart attack while covering a mare March 12 at the Appleton family’s Bridlewood Farm near Ocala, Fla. He was 19.
Campaigned as a homebred for patriarch Arthur I. Appleton and trainer Happy Alter, Halo’s Image won six stakes, including the 1994 Tropical Park Handicap (gr. III) and the 1996 Broward Handicap (gr. III). He finished third in Holy Bull’s Florida Derby (gr. I) win. For his career, he won or placed in 20 of 26 races and earned $549,891.
As a stallion, Halo’s Image (Halo--Sugar’s Image, by Valid Appeal) is represented by 39 stakes horses and the earners of $20.5 million. The best of his 17 stakes winners, Southern Image , won the 2004 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Pimlico Special (gr. I) and the $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic Stakes the year he was Florida’s Horse of the Year. Southern Image earned a career total of $1,843,750.
Halo’s Image’s other stakes winners include grade II winner How's Your Halo, plus Sir Oscar, who swept the 2003 Florida Stallion Stakes Series for 2-year-old male.
“Halo’s Image was a lynch pin of our operation and a farm favorite,” said George G. Isaacs, general manager of Bridlewood. “He embodied everything we strive to accomplish here at Bridlewood: excellence on the racetrack, excellence at stud, and excellence in the relationships we established through him. My personal memories of the joy this horse brought the Appleton family and Happy Alter throughout the years makes this a touch overwhelming and especially bittersweet at the moment. I feel like I just lost a dear old friend.”
Alter added: “The combination of his racing career and his breeding career put him into a select group of Florida horses. I trained his mother, Sugar’s Image, who was the winningest Valid Appeal mare, and we chose to breed her to Halo. All my expectations became true when Halo’s Image hit the racetrack.”
Halo’s Image stood this season for a fee of $4,000. His 10-year-old half-brother, Unbridled's Image, stands at Bridlewood.