Taking Stock: Rock Your World is Bred For Any Surface

Rock Your World | Benoit


On Wednesday on Steve Byk's radio show “At the Races,” while discussing the pedigree of Gl Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}), I mentioned that the undefeated colt is suited for dirt despite beginning his career successfully with two wins on grass. In fact, Rock Your World, who earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure on the main track, is bred to handle any surface and would probably be equally as adept on all-weather.

Owned by Hronis Racing and Talla Racing and trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World is out of the Empire Maker mare Charm the Maker, a black-type winner of three races and $340,290. She won the listed Sharp Cat S. at Hollywood Park, the restricted Adoration S. at Del Mar, and was placed in the Gl Hollywood Starlet S. on all-weather, but she was also placed in the Gl Oak Leaf S. at Santa Anita on dirt and the Glll Autumn Miss S. on turf at the same track.

Likewise, Rock Your World's Argentine-bred sire was versatile. An undefeated winner of six races, Candy Ride won the G1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena at San Isidro in Argentina on turf and the Gl Pacific Classic at Del Mar on dirt among other major wins.

Ron McAnally, who famously trained John Henry to Grade l wins on dirt and turf, conditioned both Candy Ride and Charm the Maker, and together with his wife Deborah McAnally he's the breeder of Rock Your World. The McAnallys knew what they were doing with this mating–they bred and raced Charm the Maker–and they created a high-class colt in Rock Your World that was meant to be versatile, and he is. Rock Your World was sold for $650,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and his win Saturday has put a spotlight on the low-key McAnallys' breeding program, which is not only potent but also commercially successful.

Rock Your World's 5-year-old full sister She's Our Charm–Charm the Maker's first foal –is a McAnally homebred trained by Ron McAnally that is Grade lll-placed on turf. She was bought back for $600,000 as a Keeneland yearling, and as she's made all 11 of her starts on grass, she probably provided Sadler with the blueprint for debuting Rock Your World on turf.

The McAnallys' inside knowledge of this pedigree goes deeper than a cursory surface reading indicates. Rock Your World's second dam, the Giant's Causeway mare Charm the Giant (Ire), was bred and raced by Deborah McAnally and trained by Ron McAnally, and she was a Grade lll winner on turf who produced Gll John Henry Turf Championship S. winner Liam the Charmer (Smart Strike) in addition to Charm the Maker. The McAnallys didn't race Liam the Charmer, selling him for $500,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2014 through Don Robinson's Winter Quarter Farm, which also sold Rock Your World and boards the McAnallys' breeding stock.

Rock Your World's third dam is the Olympio mare Olympic Charmer, also bred and raced by Deborah McAnally and trained by her husband, who also trained Olympio, a Grade l winner on turf and a multiple Grade ll winner on dirt for Verne Winchell. Olympic Charmer won the Gll Railbird S. at Hollywood, the Gll El Encino S. at Santa Anita, and placed in the Gl La Brea S. at Santa Anita on dirt. Olympic Charmer's unraced Majestic Light dam Light a Charm had been pivotally acquired by Deborah McAnally to begin this run of success over the last 25 years, and Rock Your World is a fourth-generation McAnally-bred in the tail-female sequence of this family that has produced prominent runners in graded races on dirt, turf, and all-weather.


Candy Ride

Candy Ride began his career at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale for $10,000, but now stands at W.S. Farish's Lane's End for $75,000. He is the sire of 98 black-type winners, including Horse of the Year Gun Runner and champion Shared Belief, and I've previously written extensively about this outstanding stallion, including this piece from 2019, Candy Ride and His North American Success.” Lane's End also stands his best stallion son, Twirling Candy ($40,000 fee and the sire of Classic hopefuls Rombauer and Dream Shake); his latest champion, first-season sire Game Winner ($30,000); and Unified ($10,000), whose first-crop 2-year-olds will race this year after being well received at the sales. It's safe to say the farm is well invested in this line, which traces to former Lane's End sire Fappiano through the unusual sequence of Ride the Rails/Cryptoclearance/Fappiano.

The more common paths to Fappiano in pedigrees go through Unbridled's Song and Empire Maker, both sons of Fappiano's Gl Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, or through Quiet American, the tail-male grandsire of Midnight Lute and the broodmare sire of that outstanding sire of broodmares, Bernardini.

You'll note that Rock Your World is out of a mare by Empire Maker, which means that he's inbred 4×4 to Fappiano on the sire-line cross. There are two other black-type winners bred on this cross, including fellow Grade l winner Separationofpowers.

Candy Ride is also the sire of Grade l winner Leofric from an Unbridled's Song mare, so you get the drift that he blends well with Fappiano, and not just on the sire-line cross. Gun Runner, for example, is also inbred 4×4 to Fappiano through Quiet American, the sire of his second dam.

Gun Runner's dam is by Giant's Causeway, who, as noted earlier, is the sire of the second dam of Rock Your World, meaning that both of these Candy Ride Grade l winners have some similar elements in their respective dams. This is yet another indication of how well thought out the planning was for the mating that produced Rock Your World.

“I don't know that Ron [McAnally] really wanted to sell Rock Your World,” said David Ingordo by phone Thursday, and the fact that McAnally bought back his full sister for $600,000 as a yearling is probably an indication that he was firm on a stiff price. Ingordo, who heads Lane's End Bloodstock and is the buyer for clients Hronis Racing and John Sadler, was instrumental in the purchase of Rock Your World for $650,000–a price only eclipsed by the $1 million paid for the yet-as-unraced Contango for Candy Ride yearlings in 2019. Contango was also a graduate of Winter Quarter Farm. That year, there were three others by Candy Ride that also made $650,000: unraced Secret Weapon, who breezed a bullet :59 flat at Santa Anita Mar. 27; Red Hot and Blue, third in his only start in a maiden special at Gulfstream Feb. 7; and Constituency, who was third Mar. 13 in a $20,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream in his third start.

Ingordo, who plucked out Zenyatta (Street Cry {Ire}) for $60,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, has an excellent eye for projecting young stock for two-turn races, and he was attracted to Rock Your World because of his size and scope. “We love Candy Ride as a sire, of course, and he was a big colt who reminded me of Twirling Candy; maybe he was a bit bigger and stretchier, and he looked like a two-turn horse. Plus, his pedigree is so California-centric,” Ingordo said. West Coast-based Hronis Racing and Sadler also campaigned champion older horse and Gl Breeders' Cup Classic winner Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky), now a stallion at Lane's End. Ingordo also purchased Accelerate, for $380,000 as a KEESEP yearling, but he was better as an older runner than he was at three, like Zenyatta.

Rock Your World, however, is now firmly in the Derby picture, and with his sire and female family behind him, a Classic win would send his stud value into the stratosphere. I'm sure Lane's End is anticipating exactly this and looking forward to standing yet another son of Candy Ride when it's all said and done, thanks to Ingordo.

Sid Fernando is president and CEO of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc., originator of the Werk Nick Rating and eNicks.

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