01/25/2018 6:16PM

Valiant Minister retired to stud at Bridlewood Farm

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Valiant Minister, once the most expensive graduate of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale in the auction’s history, has been retired to Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla., for the 2018 breeding season, where he will stand for an advertised fee of $2,500.

The 5-year-old son of Candy Ride sold to Charles Chu of Baoma Corp. at the 2015 OBS June sale for $680,000 to top that renewal and earn the sale’s highest-ever price until the bar was raised once again the following year.

He debuted last year at 4, winning a six-furlong maiden special weight Santa Anita Park by 2 1/4 lengths. Valiant Minister earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for his first start, but his career was then derailed by injury.

“Valiant Minister was probably the fastest first-time starter I ever trained,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “Just super freaky, like a Maclean’s Music. When he broke his maiden, right away, we were thinking we are going to win something huge with this horse. His speed figures were ridiculous.

“(Valiant Minister) showed so much potential that we thought he was better than Drefong, who was just coming off a championship season for Baoma Corp.,” Baffert continued. “He was going to be something really, really special. Unfortunately he got hurt in a stall accident and we could never get him back. It was probably one of the toughest phone calls when I had to tell the Chus he had hurt himself.”

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Bred in Kentucky by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Valiant Minister is out of the unraced Deputy Minister mare Spooky Minister, whose seven foals to race are all winners, including Grade 2-placed Moe Candy and Grade 3-placed Holy Candy, both also by Candy Ride, as well as stakes-placed Silver Assault.

The extended family includes Grade 1-winning second dam Lunar Spook, Canadian champion Riker, Grade 3 winner Cashel Castle, and Grade 1-placed Lunarwarfare.

“Valiant Minister could have been any kind, everything about him suggested he was a serious racehorse,” said Bridlewood general manager George Isaacs. “He showed at both OBS and Santa Anita that he was a special talent, but unfortunately had a significant stall accident that cut his career short. 

“I believe Florida breeders will be the benefactors now, because this horse has quite a lot to offer,” Isaacs continued. “He’s a great blend of Candy Ride and Deputy Minister: big, strapping physical, very well made, a lot of substance, and Candy Ride is on fire with a lot of exciting colts going right now.”

Valiant Minister is currently available for inspection at Bridlewood Farm.