Fri, 08/07/2020 - 18:45

Like any other sport, Thoroughbred racing is streaky. Barns can get hot, jockeys can rack up wins, and even sires can get stakes winners in bunches. The consistently good stallion Twirling Candy, who stands at Lane's End near Versailles, Ky., has been on quite a "heater" lately.

In the Aug. 1 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar, sons of Twirling Candy ran 1-3. Donald Dizney-bred sophomore Collusion Illusion, racing for Dan Agnew, Rodney Orr, Jerry Schneider, and John Xitco, got the win going six furlongs. Law Abidin Citizen, a 6-year-old owned by Agnew, Schneider, and Xitco, finished third. Both runners are from trainer Mark Glatt's barn.

"I was stabled next to (trainer) John Sadler when Twirling Candy was running and just thought he was an amazing-looking animal, and he was certainly a really good racehorse," Glatt told BloodHorse's Tracy Gantz. "I thought when he goes to stud, if I have an opportunity, I'll try and pick a couple of them up."

Glatt hasn't been alone in that assessment.

Twirling Candy's offspring have outperformed in the sale arena and on the track. With five crops of racing age (3-year-olds and up), he has 24 black-type winners. His yearling average has advanced from $40,955 when his first crop sold in 2014 to last year's robust figure of $94,295 (61 yearlings sold). Commercially, his stud fee, which began at $15,000 in 2011 and predictably dipped to $10,000 in his fourth and fifth seasons, climbed to $25,000 in 2018 and $40,000 in 2020.

"We've been high on him all along. He might have taken a little longer to reach the level we thought he would," Lane's End's Bill Farish said. "But now he's got four grade 1 winners, and he's doing really well.

"We bumped his fee, and his demand was very, very strong. He had his biggest book to date. I think he ended up with 172 mares, which for us is a lot."

Twirling Candy, bred by the late Sidney Craig and his wife, Jenny Craig, is a son of Candy Ride—House of Danzing, by Chester House. The Craigs brought Candy Ride, a champion miler in his native Argentina, to the U.S., where he was perfect in three starts with Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally. His racing career culminated in a strong score in the 2003 Pacific Classic Stakes (G1).

Candy Ride, from the Fappiano sire line, began his stud career at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms, where he stood for four seasons before moving to Lane's End. A consistent market leader, Candy Ride has sired 90 black-type winners, including Vekoma, a two-time grade 1 winner this year.

Twirling Candy, a 2007 foal, came from Candy Ride's second crop and is out of a mare that only made two starts and is a granddaughter of the Craigraced stakes winner Crownette (by Seattle Slew).

Chester House, Juddmonte's son of Mr. Prospector—Toussaud, was a group 1-placed stakes winner in England before shipping to the states, where he won the Arlington Million Stakes (G1T) in the summer of 2000. He figured to be a big hit as a stallion, but the arc was brief. He stood only three seasons at Juddmonte before succumbing to cancer in June 2003. Advertised as a "genetic masterpiece," he managed to sire 28 black-type winners (from 186 starters), including Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ventura.

Racing for the Craig Family Trust (Sidney Craig died in 2008), Twirling Candy turned heads from the start, breaking his maiden at first asking at 2 in November 2009 at Hollywood Park. His 3-year-old campaign was polished off with a score in the sevenfurlong Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park. At 4 in 2011, he landed the Strub Stakes (G2) and Californian Stakes (G2) before just missing by a head to champion older male Acclamation in an attempt to add his own trophy from the Pacific Classic to his own mantle.

From that same crop of Candy Ride came the Craig-bred Sidney's Candy, out of Fair Exchange. Sidney's Candy is a granddaughter of Sidney Craig's multiple grade 1 winner Exchange. Both Sidney's Candy and Twirling Candy were highly sought after as stallion prospects, as Sidney's Candy stood at WinStar Farm near Versailles for five seasons (he moved to Turkey in 2018).

"When Twirling Candy and Sidney's Candy were out there, we opted for Twirling Candy," Farish said. "He was a very good-looking Candy Ride. He had more size and stretch to him than Candy Ride himself. That was something that pulled him toward us. We always like to get sons of our sires, but we were particularly interested in him because he was such a talented racehorse."

As a sire, Twirling Candy finished second on the first-crop sires list for 2015 without the benefit of a stakes winner. He ranked second behind the monster year put up by Uncle Mo.

That finish established a pattern as Ashford Stud's Uncle Mo and Twirling Candy finished 1-2 on the 2016 second-crop sires list, the 2017 third-crop sires list, and the 2018 fourth-crop sires list.

"Twirling Candy has been good and consistent," Farish said. "In any other crop, he might have been No. 1. Uncle Mo got off to just a spectacular start."

Along with Collusion Illusion, Twirling Candy has sired grade 1 winners Concrete Rose, Gift Box, and Finley'sluckycharm. Those achievements came, respectively, going six furlongs on the dirt, 10 furlongs on turf, 10 furlongs on dirt, and seven furlongs on the main track.

Five other runners have won at the graded stakes level.

"What people like about him is he does produce scopier yearlings, and so they tend to be more commercial," Farish said. "He has the ability to get turf, dirt, long, short. He's very versatile. The exciting thing is his best crops are still to come. We expect his statistics to improve and to produce more and more top runners."

Despite limited juvenile races due to COVID-19, Twirling Candy already has four juvenile winners in 2020, including Rombauer, a winner July 25 at Del Mar going a mile on the turf for trainer Michael McCarthy and breeders/owners John and Diane Fradkin.


Source: BloodHorse Daily