02/01/2018 12:36PM

Candy Ride off to fast start in sire standings

Barbara D. Livingston
Candy Ride has four black-type winners so far this year.

As champion Gun Runner crossed the line in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup last Saturday, he not only concluded his career in style, but also gave Candy Ride a valuable head start in the 2018 sire race. A Lane’s End resident, Candy Ride has a bankroll that already stands at $7,559,793 entering February, more than triple his closest pursuer, Claiborne Farm’s Flatter at $1,940,711.

However, a deeper delve into various stallion metrics, including Daily Racing Form’s exclusive Beyer Sire Performance Standings, reveals that Candy Ride is not a one-hit wonder – and is in tight competition with several of his peers one month into the year.

Perennial leading sire Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, has an early lead in the Beyer Sire Performance Standings based on individual runners to meet or surpass the threshold figure of 90, with seven. After breaking the single-season earnings record for a North American stallion for three consecutive years, from 2014-16, Tapit was dethroned from atop the general sires earnings list in 2017. However, the stallion’s seasonal record of $19,245,198 remains the standard, and he is off to a strong start in 2018.

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Darley’s Street Sense, who is led by prominent Kentucky Derby contender McKinzie, is next, with six individuals to meet or surpass 90. Candy Ride is tied at five with Pin Oak Stud’s Broken Vow and Munnings, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud. Candy Ride is the first stallion to record multiple individuals with triple-digit Beyers on the year, with Gun Runner’s 119 figure in the Pegasus joined by Cedartown’s 100 in the Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Candy Ride is represented by a pair of graded stakes winners already this season – Gun Runner and Grade 3 La Prevoyante heroine Texting – and four black-type winners overall. Also with a pair of graded winners each in January were Street Sense, with McKinzie and Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic winner Tiger Moth, and Ashford’s young phemon Uncle Mo, with Grade 2 La Canada winner Mopotism and Grade 3 Marshua’s River winner Ultra Brat.

Matching Candy Ride with four black-type winners already on the year is Midnight Lute. The Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm stallion is led by Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes winner Midnight Bisou. She is joined by Fifth Season winner Sonneteer, Busanda winner Midnight Disguise, and, most recently, California Cup Sprint winner Edwards Going Left.