It’s been a meteoric rise to the top for CANDY RIDE (ARG), who from five crops to race has sired a whopping 51 stakes horses, including 31 stakes winners and seven Grade 1 winners, like TWIRLING CANDY, Sidney’s Candy, Capt. Candyman Can and Evita Argentina.

In 2012, CANDY RIDE (ARG) was the sire of 10 stakes winners, outdistancing the likes of Distorted Humor, Indian Charlie, Street Cry (Ire), Tiznow, Malibu Moon, etc., and his runners included the West Coast standout Kettle Corn, the aforementioned Capt. Candyman Can, and the up-and-coming youngster Holy Candy.

In a recent column, Bill Oppeneim noted the quality that CANDY RIDE (ARG) is siring at stud, listing him as one of just five active North American sires to register an ‘A’ Runner Index of over 3.00. CANDY RIDE’s 3.02 index was better than Giant’s Causeway, Tapit, Hard Spun, Unbridled’s Song, Distorted Humor, Awesome Again and Tiznow.

Notably, as a $40,000 stallion, CANDY RIDE (ARG) stands for at least $20,000 less than any of the other four sires ranked at 3.00 or above, a list that included Bernardini ($150,000, 3.16 index) and Medaglia d’Oro ($100,000, 3.15 index).

CANDY RIDE’s quality is also evidenced on The Blood-Horse’s 2012 Leading Sires by Average Earnings Index list. Only 12 Kentucky sires concluded the year with an AEI of above 2.00. Of those 12 sires, only half were shown to have improved their mares, including CANDY RIDE (ARG) and his stablemate SMART STRIKE. CANDY RIDE’s 2.06 AEI vs. a CI index of 1.74 shows that he improves his mares 18.45%!

CANDY RIDE’s 2012 runners featured the Grade 1 heroine Home Sweet Aspen, who led home a CANDY RIDE (ARG) exacta in the $300,000 Santa Monica S. at Santa Anita over the G1 La Brea S. runner-up Sugarinthemorning. Like many of CANDY RIDE’s best, Home Sweet Aspen is a Craig Stables homebred and is trained by John Sadler, who also conditioned our hot new stallion TWIRLING CANDY.

The always-game Kettle Corn, meanwhile, won or placed in 7 of his 8 starts in 2012. The graded winner of seven lifetime races placed in the GI Hollywood Gold Cup, G2 Californian S., G2 San Diego H., G2 Mervyn LeRoy H. and G3 Native Diver, and now has earnings of over $390,000.

The sophomore colt Holy Candy was tabbed a TDN Rising Star early in the year and placed in the G3 Affirmed S., while the 2yo filly Walkwithapurpose, a Sagamore Farm homebred, looked like a filly with a future when she won off by eight lengths in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship S., her third win in four career starts.

CANDY RIDE’s further 2012 stakes winners included Jazzin’ Okie, Stachys, Northern Candyride, Mr. Jawbreaker, Candy and Thunder, Okie Ride, and Ms. Cruisen’.

Now, CANDY RIDE (ARG) is set for a huge 2013, with 145 juveniles set to hit the track from some of his very best mares. It should be a truly sweet ride!

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