A strapping Candy Ride colt became the highest-priced yearling sold so far during the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington when he brought $300,000 during the second session’s first hour Jan. 11.
Brian Graves, the director of sales for Gainesway Farm, purchased the flashy chestnut in the name B G Stables, outlasting WinStar Farm’s former co-owner, Bill Casner, who was sitting in the sale pavilion with former WinStar president and CEO Doug Cauthen.
“I just really liked this horse, and I decided to stick my neck out,” said Graves, who puts together pinhooking partnerships and plans to resell the colt later this year at a yearling auction. “We’ll see how it goes. I plan on taking him to the farm and taking as good of care of him as possible.”
The yearling is the first foal out of the winning Gentlemen mare Gentlemen’s Crown, who is a half sister to 2009 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Chocolate Candy (by Candy Ride). Chocolate Candy also captured the 2008 Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park and the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields. His other efforts included runner-up finishes in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar in 2009, and a third-place finish in the 2008 Cashcall Futurity (gr. I).
Danzing Crown (by Danzig), who is an unraced half sister to Gentlemen's Crown and Chocolate Candy, is the granddam of 2010 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) and Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) winner Twirling Candy (by Candy Ride).
“I thought he was a standout (physically),” said Graves of his $300,000 purchase. “He’s a horse with really good corners. He’s good and square behind and a real leggy horse. He really looks like he could go two turns.
“Candy Ride has already worked in the pedigree,” he continued. “His mother is a half sister to a good Candy Ride (runner). He is the type of horse that I truly believe has a chance to bring a half-million or more later this year in a yearling sale because he’s got everything you would want to see. He’s a real gangly, loose-moving horse with a long neck and a big hip. He looks like the right kind of horse.”
Graves, who made his offers from the area near where horses enter the auction ring at Keeneland, came close to dropping out of the bidding because the colt’s price was getting so high.
“I was prepared for $225,000 or $250,000,” he said. “I was walking away at $275,000, and then I went back one more time.”
When asked which yearling sale the colt would be pointed for, Graves replied: “I’m not sure which way we’ll go yet. The horse will tell us later. We’ll see. I think he is the type the highest caliber people in this game like to have. That’s why I took the risk.”
Graves said the colt was the most expensive pinhooking prospect he had purchased so far at public auction for the 2011 yearling sales.
Kitty Taylor’s Warrendale Sales, agent, consigned the colt, which was bred by Taylor, Hargus and Sandra Sexton, and Silver Fern Farm in Kentucky.
“He’s a beautiful horse and he sold very well; everybody is excited and happy,” Taylor said. “He had a great pedigree with Chocolate Candy and Twirling Canada, and he was a great physical that vetted very well.”
Taylor purchased Gentlemen’s Crown, when she was carrying the Candy Ride yearling, for $65,000 at the 2010 Barretts January mixed sale in Southern California.
“She is a big, correct mare and was in foal to a horse that I liked,” Taylor said. “She is in foal to Indian Charlie now and she’ll go to Malibu Moon later this year, so she’ll have every opportunity."