January 29, 2016
CANDY RIDE (Arg), one of the leading general sires of 2015 by progeny earnings, is poised for a big year on the Triple Crown trail. When early nominations for the Triple Crown were released on January 28th, twelve of CANDY RIDE’s sons had been nominated to the series, making CANDY RIDE the most prolific sire of Triple Crown nominees out of all stallions standing for less than $75,000 in 2016.
CANDY RIDE’s dozen nominees include some of the most promising up-and-coming Triple Crown contenders. Among the notable names are Allaboutaction, an eye-catching allowance winner at Golden Gate Fields; Candy My Boy, who has won two straight races at Fair Grounds, including a one-mile allowance race; Hand of Power, winner of a one-mile maiden special weight at Churchill Downs by 4 ½ lengths; Gun Runner, a two-time winner that finished fourth in a strong renewal of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II); Mr. Coker, impressive winner of a maiden special weight at Santa Anita on January 18th; and Snow Fighter, who won a maiden special weight at Laurel Park by a neck. In addition, Gun Runner was ranked on the 2016 Experimental Free Handicap, receiving a respectable rating of 112 pounds, placing him in a tie for 24th place out of 113 colts and geldings on the list.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who swept the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah, has nominated two sons of CANDY RIDE to the 2016 Triple Crown: Twirling, third to Mr. Coker in the latter’s maiden win, and Valiant Minister, an unraced colt out of Spooky Minister that is a full-brother to four winners, including the graded stakes-placed Holy Candy.