Unbeaten grade I winner Candy Ride, who recorded the highest Beyer Speed Figure of 2003, has been retired from racing and might be headed to stud at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, Ky. Candy Ride is owned by Sidney and Jenny Craig.
"We've signed an agreement in principle, but the deal won't be completed until Candy Ride arrives in Kentucky," Sikura said. "Hill 'n' Dale plans to buy an interest, but Mr. and Mrs. Craig will retain a significant part and support him with their best mares. They, along with myself and trainer Ron McAnally, feel Candy Ride is the most talented racehorse we have been around."
Sikura first saw Candy Ride in Argentina when the horse won a group I event. "It was the most remarkable performance I had seen," he said about the eight-length win. "He's probably the best horse to arrive from there since Forli."
Candy Ride hadn't run since setting a track record of 1:59.11 in the 2003 Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar while registering that season-high 123 Beyer.
Candy Ride would have likely been one of the favorites in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), but McAnally nixed the idea of running him, citing Candy Ride's small feet and the need for them to spread out. Later attempts to return Candy Ride to the races proved futile, and it was decided to retire him rather than miss another season at stud.
McAnally bought Candy Ride for the Craigs. Arriving from Argentina last year, Candy Ride won an allowance/optional claiming race at Hollywood Park, then the American Handicap (gr. IIT) at that track. In Argentina, Candy Ride won his three starts, two of which were group I, by a combined 28 lengths.
Candy Ride retired with earnings of $749,149. His sire, U.S. stakes winner Ride the Rails, is by Cryptoclearance
(by Fappiano), and Candy Ride's dam, Candy Girl, is by Candy Stripes.
Plans call for Candy Ride to stand for $10,000 and be available for viewing at the farm during the Keeneland September yearling sale.