Valiant Minister

Candy Ride (ARG) - Spooky Minister, by Deputy Minister | Fee: $5,000 S&N

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Freaky-Talented Son of Leading Sire Candy Ride

  • 2023 #1 3rd crop Florida Stallion
  • Debut MdSpWt winner at Santa Anita by 2 1/4-lengths, defeating LORD SIMBA who won the Los Angeles S. [G3] at SA just two starts later.
  • In a hand ride, he earned a 3 1/2 Ragozin, 99 Beyer, & 108 BRIS in his debut: "Freaky. He's probably the fastest first-time starter I've ever trained." — Bob Baffert
  • Record-priced $680,000 OBS June 2-year-old after breezing a bullet eight of a mile in :9 4/5 seconds.
  • By champion sire CANDY RIDE (Arg) — sire of Horse of the Year Gun Runner [G1] and many more
  • Out of a 100% producing DEPUTY MINISTER mare, and a full brother to G1-placed Moe Candy & G3-placed Holy Candy; second dam is G1 winner LUNAR SPOOK.
  • First 2-year-olds in 2021.
  • "He ranks right up there with American Pharoah and Arrogate in that 'freaky' mode" — Bob Baffert
  • "Valiant Minister is at the top end of all the Candy Rides we've had" — Eddie Woods, leading 2-year-old consignor
  • "A star in the making" — Jeff Siegel, XBTV
  • "A bigattractive and regally-bred son of Candy Ride with elite speed/class. Every year, one or two young Florida sires seem to make a splash commercially, and we’re confident Valiant Minister will be one of them when his first weanlings/yearlings sell." —Thoroughbred Review, 2019 Sire Watch
  • "He’s a strapping lad, by an emerging sire of sires, and 78 mares in his debut book will give him a very secure toehold to show what he can do. You couldn’t be at all surprised if he came up with a six-figure breezer or two."
    Chris McGrath, TDN Regional Sires for 2019


Bentornato runs a strong 3rd in the $1.5 million Saudi Derby (G3)

Leon King Stable’s Florida-bred Bentornato , who won the first four starts of his career including clear victories last year in the first two Florida Sires Stakes series races, stalked the pace early and seized the lead from Set Up in the turn. He would briefly open a clear advantage under Luis Saez. But coming out of that New […]

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Bentornato Remains Unbeaten With Win In The FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed

Leon King Stable Corp.’s Bentornato continues to impress with each start as the Florida-bred colt is now a perfect four-for-four with another commanding victory Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the seven-furlong Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed. Should the son of Bridlewood Farm stallion Valiant Minister win the $400,000 FTBOA Florida […]

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Bentornato remained undefeated with a 7 1/2-length win in the Dr. Fager division.

Bentornato  remained undefeated with a widening 7 1/2-length win as the odds-on favorite in the Sept. 9 $100,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Dr. Fager Stakes, giving trainer Jose D’Angelo a sweep of both the afternoon’s races for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions at Gulfstream Park. All three of Bentornato’s wins have been in one-turn sprints but D’Angelo […]

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Valiant Minister Race and (Stakes) Record

Age Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
4 1 1 0 0 $32,400
Totals 1 1 0 0 $32,400

b. 1999
dkb/br. 1991
br. 1984
b. 1969
ch. 1990
ch. 1982
ch. 1982
gr/r. 2003
b. 1979
ch. 1967
dkb/br. 1970
gr. 1990
gr. 1982
b. 1977


A record-priced OBS Two-Year-Old in Training, Valiant Minister was a spectacular winner of his only start. He is by undefeated Champion Candy Ride, now an exceptional sire with such as Horse of the Year Gun Runner, Champion Shared Belief, Mastery and Twirling Candy, and his dam is by Deputy Minister out of grade one winning sprinter Lunar Spook. Given his brilliance and his pedigree, he looks an intriguing prospect – Alan Porter”

Candy Ride has enjoyed exceptional success with mares from the Storm Cat branch of Northern Dancer. His Horse of the Year Gun Runner is out of a mare by Giant’s Causeway, and from the family of Silver Ghost, the sire of the granddam of Valiant Minister. Giant’s Causeway sire of First Samurai, Eskendereya and Heatseeker. Out of mares by Storm Cat himself, Candy Ride is sire of the brilliant champion Shared Belief and grade one winner Sidney’s Candy. Candy Ride has two graded winners, including grade one scorer Evita Argentina out of mared by Forest Wildcat (sire of Wildcat Heir and D’Wildcat); his grade one winner Capt. Candyman Can is out of a mare by Storm Creek; and he also has stakes winners out of mares by Tabasco Cat and Sea of Secrets. Candy Ride’s son, Sidney’s Candy has graded winner Converge out of a mare by Stormy Atlantic, and another son, Twirling Candy, has stakes winners out of mares by Cat Thief, Tiger Ridge, Yankee Gentleman and Henny Hughes (by Hennessy, also sire of Johannesburg and Cactus Ridge; and grandsire of Scat Daddy). This also suggests trying daughters of Freud – a brother to Giant’s Causeway; Tale of the Cat (a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, like the dam of Valiant Minister, and sire of Lion Heart and grandsire of Kantharos); Forestry (sire of Discreet Cat and Shackleford), Bernstein, Bluegrass Cat, Catienus (a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross), Harlan’s Holiday (sire of Into Mischief), Mountain Cat, Pure Prize (a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross), Sir Cat, Storm Boot (a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross), Stormin Fever, Tactical Cat and With Distinction.

From other branches of Northern Dancer, Candy Ride has grade two winner Unified out of a mare by Dixie Union, sire of Union Rags, High Cotton (who might be a very good fit here), Gone Astray and Overanalyze. Dixie Union’s sire, Dixieland Band, is also sire of Citidancer, Dixie Brass and Hook and Ladder. There are two stakes winners by Candy Ride and sons out of Nureyev line mares, from daughters of Theatrical and Pivotal, and there is also a Candy Ride stakes winner out of a mare by a son of Sadler’s Wells – a three-quarters brother to Nureyev – which opens the prospect of trying mares by El Prado sons, Medaglia d’Oro, Kitten’s Joy and Artie Schiller.

Candy Ride and sons have outperformed opportunity with a wide range of Mr. Prospector line mares. He sired one of his best sons, Twirling Candy, out of a mare by Chester House (sire of Divine Park). He has grade two winner Clubhouse Ride out of a mare by Seeking the Gold (sire of Petionville, Mutakddim and Cape Town), and grade two winner Paid Up Subscriber out of a mare by Street Cry (whose sire, Machiavellian, is a parallel Mr. Prospector/Halo cross to Silver Ghost, the sire of the dam of the mare). Street Cry is sire of Street Sense and Street Boss. Candy Ride is a grandson of Cryptoclearance, a Mr. Prospector/Tom Rolfe cross, as is Forty Niner, and Candy Ride has two stakes winners, one graded, out of mares by Forty Niner son, Distorted Humor (sire of Any Given Saturday, Drosselmeyer, Flower Alley and Sharp Humor), and two stakes winners out mares by Forty Niner son, Coronado’s Quest, which also suggests mares by End Sweep and his son, Trippi, Jules (a parallel cross to Silver Ghost, and sire of Peace Rules), Roar, Tactical Advantage and West Acre.

There is a Candy Ride graded stakes winner out of a mare by Kingmambo (sire of Lemon Drop Kid); and a graded winner by a son of Candy Ride out of a mare by Mr. Greeley (by Gone West, also sire of Speightstown, Grand Slam and Elusive Quality: grandsire of Quality Road, Exclusive Quality, Great Notion, Omega Code, Limehouse, as well as Strong Hope and Fire Slam – both the reverse of the Deputy Minister/Mr. Prospector cross that produced the dam of Valiant Minister). Candy Ride and his sons have two stakes winners out of mares by sons of Carson City – from daughters of Lord Carson and Flying Chevron – suggesting trying daughters of City Zip, Boone’s Mill, Cuvee, Five Star Day, Good and Tough, Hear No Evil and Run Away and Hide. Other Mr. Prospector line stallions to appear as broodmare sires of Candy Ride line stakes winners are Fusaichi Pegasus (sire of Roman Ruler, who should fit well here), Thunder Gulch and Fortunate Prospect.

Candy Ride is from the Fappiano branch of Mr. Prospector via Cryptoclearance, but he and his sons have started to do well over other branches of Fappiano, and particularly Unbridled. The 2017 grade one wining two-year-old, Separationofpowers and graded winner Crewman are out of mares by Empire Maker (sire of Pioneerof the Nile and Bodemeister). Candy Ride is also broodmare sire of a graded winner out of a mare by Unbridled’s Song, and there are two stakes winners out of mares by Unbridled’s Song son, Songandaprayer. Unbridled Unbridled and Unbridled's Song could also be introduced through BrokenVow, ,  Birdstone, Rockport Harbor, First Defence, Old Fashioned, Half Ours, Dunkirk and Even The Score. Fappiano son, Quiet American, is sire of the second dam of Candy Ride’s Horse of the Year, Gun Runner, and would be very interesting here through Midnight Lute, a Fappiano/Deputy Minister cross, like Valiant Minister. We can also that Twirling Candy has the top-class sprint filly Finley’sluckycharm out of a mare by Victory Gallop (a Cryptoclearance/Vice Regent cross like Valiant Minister).

The cross of Candy Ride and sons with mares from the A.P. Indy line is starting to do well. There are five stakes winners out of mares by A.P. Indy himself. Grade one winner Mastery and multiple graded winner Chocolate Ride are out of mares by Old Trieste (sire of Silver Train). There are two stakes winners, including graded winner Eagle, out of mares by Mineshaft (sire of Discreetly Mine and Dialed In), and stakes winners out of mares by Pulpit and his son, Tapit (sire of Trappe Shot and of Tapizar, who would give a double of Deputy Minister), suggesting mares by other Pulpit sons, Sky Mesa, Stroll, Corinthian and Purge. It should also be worth trying mares by A.P. Indy sons Malibu Moon, Congrats and Flatter – all bred on the same cross as Mineshaft and Pulpit – as well as Bernardini (who should be a very good fit here, and who is sire of Algorithms, who would give inbreeding to Cryptoclearance; Take Charge Indy, another good fit; and Stay Thirsty), Golden Missile, Jump Start, Majestic Warrior, Saint Anddan and Stephen Got Even.

From Halo line mares Candy Ride has sired grade one winner El Brujo out of a mare by Devil’s Bag (sire of Devil His Due and Diablo), and grade two winner Ahh Chocolate out of a mare by Saint Liam (by Saint Ballado, a brother to Devil’s Bag, and from the family of Gun Runner). Saint Liam is sire of Captain Bodgit, Flame Thrower, Popular, Straight Man, Sweetsouthernsaint and Yankee Victor. There is also a stakes winner by Candy Ride out of a mare by Halo son, Southern Halo, who could be brought in through More Than Ready (sire of Ready’s Image). Rahy is by Blushing Groom out of Champion Glorious Song, a sister to Devil’s Bag and Saint Ballado, and is broodmare sire of a stakes winner by a son of Candy Ride.

Candy Ride and sons have show a strong affinity for mares from the In Excess branch of the Caro line, getting three stakes winners including grade two winner Candy Boy out of mares by In Excess himself, and there is also a stakes winner by a son of Candy Ride out of a mare by Indian Charlie (sire of Uncle Mo, Adios Charlie, Bwana Charlie and Bring The Heat). There is also a stakes winner out of a mare by another Caro line stallion, Cozzene, the sire of Alphabet Soup, Mizzen Mast and Running Stag.

"Valiant Minister was probably the fastest first-time starter I ever trained. Just super freaky. When he broke his maiden, right away, we were thinking we are going to win something huge with this horse. His speed figures were ridiculous. He ran a 3 on The Sheets and a 108 BRIS, which is really just off the charts. I mean, that’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint stuff, but this horse was not a sprinter. He was going to be a great miler at the least."- Bob Baffert


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