02/13/2015 3:19PM

Leading Kentucky sires: Candy Ride

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Lee Thomas
Candy Ride currently stands at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

Leading Kentucky sire by synthetic earnings

Opportunities to race on synthetic surfaces have dried up quickly in North America, with Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Keeneland replacing their main tracks with dirt and Hollywood Park closing its doors in recent years.

With no North American Grade 1 races scheduled on all-weather surfaces for 2015, Candy Ride likely will serve as the bookend among Kentucky’s leading sires during the era of elite-level synthetic-surface racing.

The 16-year-old son of Ride the Rails was represented by 83 all-weather runners in 2014, with 26 winners and earnings of $1,758,661 on synthetics. It was Candy Ride’s third year leading Kentucky’s stallions by all-weather earnings, previously earning the top spot in 2010 and 2013.

Candy Ride stands at Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky., for an advertised fee of $60,000. He began his stud career in 2005 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., for a fee of $10,000 and was relocated to Lane’s End for the 2010 breeding season.

“I think he’s a heck of a sire,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End. “His stud fee’s increased quite a bit, and his popularity hasn’t been affected at all by that. I think he’s really still emerging as a top, top stallion. He definitely has done it on all surfaces.”

Leading the way among Candy Ride’s 2014 runners was Shared Belief, who followed up on an Eclipse Award-winning juvenile campaign with a victory in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on the synthetic Polytrack at Del Mar, along with the Grade 1 Awesome Again and Malibu stakes on the dirt at Santa Anita. The campaign earned Shared Belief a spot as a finalist for champion 3-year-old male and 12 votes for Horse of the Year.

Other top synthetic runners in 2014 for Candy Ride included the stakes winners Duff and Sweet Luca and the stakes-placed Sweet Dreams.

Candy Ride has sired eight crops of racing age, with 389 winners and combined progeny earnings surpassing $41.6 million. In addition to Shared Belief, his leading runners include the Grade 1 winners Misremembered, Sidney’s Candy, Twirling Candy, Capt. Candyman Can, El Brujo, Evita Argentina, and Home Sweet Aspen. Many of those horses saw some degree of success over all-weather surfaces during their careers.

Prior to his retirement to stud, Candy Ride was a dual-hemisphere Grade/Group 1 winner, beginning his career in his native Argentina, where we went undefeated in three starts, including the Group 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena and San Isidoro. Candy Ride was Argentina’s champion miler.

Candy Ride was purchased by Sidney and Jenny Craig and relocated to Southern California for the 2003 racing season. Once again, he went 3 for 3, winning the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and the Grade 2 American Stakes following a tune-up in an optional claimer. Candy Ride finished his career with a perfect 6-for-6 record and earnings of $749,149.

Bred in Argentina by Abolengo, Candy Ride is out of the unraced Candy Stripes mare Candy Girl, whose nine winners from 10 foals to race included the Argentine Group 3 winner Candy Apple and the South African Group 3 winner Candy Singer. Candy Girl is a full sister to the Argentine dual classic winner City West.

Candy Ride had a strong season overall, finishing fifth among Kentucky sires by progeny earnings with $10,338,913 generated by 273 starters and 153 winners. He finished 19th among Kentucky sires by 2-year-old earnings.

Over all surfaces, Shared Belief led Candy Ride’s 2014 runners with eight wins in nine starts for earnings of $1,581,000, adding the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby on dirt to his list of victories. Candy Ride also sired the Grade 2 winners Candy Boy and Clubhouse Ride, as well as the Grade 3 winners Sugar Shock, Sweet Swap, Grand Tito, and Candyman E.

As he approaches a decade in the breeding shed, Candy Ride has begun to build his résumé as a sire of sires, with at least seven sons at stud. Twirling Candy joined his sire at Lane’s End, while Misremembered stands at Candy Ride’s original home base at Hill ‘n’ Dale. He also has Sidney’s Candy at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., and Kettle Corn, Spaniard, Incognito Bandito, and Treasure Ride in regional markets.