Chocolate Candy winning the 2009 El Camino Real Derby (Gr3)

In as vivid a proclamation of the virtues of a sire of sires as you might imagine, the 2009 Summerhill Sires Brochure read:

“The fact that the blood of Mr. Prospector courses through the veins of eight of the eleven men in our barn, betrays a belief that borders on worship”.

This past week, a horse by the name of Chocolate Candy put up his hand as a live candidate for this year’s American Classics, with a rousing display in the El Camino Real Derby Gr.3, and this attracted the attention of the world renowned pedigree expert, Andrew Caulfield. We quote a few extracts from his article in the Thoroughbred Daily News on the Mr. Prospector influence over this year’s prospects for the Kentucky Derby.

“There are no prizes for guessing which male line supplied the majority of the 23 horses included in last week’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool. With a total of 14 representatives, the ubiquitous Mr. Prospector line was much too strong for the A.P. Indy and Storm Cat clans, which combined to provide seven contenders.

Mr. Prospector, of course, was one of those rare stallions who supplied winners of each of the Triple Crown events, and his male-line descendants have so far won more than 30 editions of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or the Belmont, with the Fappiano branch leading the way with seven winners of eight races. This is reflected in the Future Wager Pool 1, which has no fewer than eight Classic hopefuls from the Fappiano branch. Needless to say, the majority of these descend from Fappiano’s son Unbridled, who matched Mr. Prospector’s feat of siring winners of all three legs of the Triple Crown, thanks to Grindstone, Red Bullet and Empire Maker.

No one can be surprised to see the likes of Empire Maker and Unbridled’s Song justifying their substantial fees by siring Derby contenders of the quality of Pioneer of The Nile, Old Fashioned and Midshipman. But how many breeders would have predicted back in 2005 that the first-season sire Candy Ride would also develop into a major flag-bearer for the Fappiano line, with two sons in the 23-horse pool?

After all, Candy Ride started out at only $10,000 at Hill ‘n’ Dale in 2005 and, in assessing his prospects, it was a case of some good news and some not so good.

The good news was that Candy Ride had been a highly talented racehorse - talented enough to have been one of three horses whose rating of 127 made them the highest-rated American-trained older horses on the 2003 International Classifications (the other two being Johar and Mineshaft). Being considered the equal of Mineshaft among the dirt performers was some compliment, as Mineshaft not only took the Eclipse Award for handicap male, but also the Horse of the Year title.”