Though we had initially made other plans for Yesshewill’s 2023 cover, after seeing what an incredibly nice foal she produced by Rock Your World in January, we’re going to call an audible and send her right back to that son of Candy Ride again this year. Below is the text outlining why we made that Housatonic Recommended Mating for 2022, and the logic is all still sound.
Unbeaten in his first two starts on turf, Rock Your World was a brilliant, wire-to-wire winner of the G1 Santa Anita Derby over eventual Derby 1st-place finisher Medina Spirit in his third start (and dirt debut). A $650,000 yearling purchase selected by David Ingordo, Rock Your World has the physical to match that price tag, and the pedigree. Bred by trainer Ron McNally and his wife, from a family they’ve cultivated for generations, Rock Your World is a son of rising sire-of-sires Candy Ride, out of a mare by Empire Maker, with a second dam by Giant’s Causeway.
That pedigree shares similarities with Candy Ride’s historic freshman sire son Gun Runner, who is out of a mare by Giant’s Causeway, with a second dam by Empire Maker’s grandsire Fappiano — which bodes well for Rock Your World’s chances as a stallion. (Candy Ride’s other sons at stud include the upwardly-mobile Twirling Candy, and another promising first-year KY stallion in Unified.) But even more so than just the fact that Rock Your World’s and Gun Runner’s pedigrees contain some similarities, this mating between Rock Your World and Yesshewill is reminiscent of those which produced both of Gun Runner’s G1-winning first crop 2YOS:
-Likely Eclipse Champion 2YO filly Echo Zulu is by Gun Runner out of a mare by Menifee, and so inbred 4×4 to Storm Cat (whereas this foal will be 4×2 to Storm Cat’s son Giant’s Causeway).
-G1 winner Gunite is by Gun Runner out of a mare by Cowboy Cal, and so inbred 3×3 to Giant’s Causeway.
Additionally, Gunite has Olympio in his bottom line, just like Rock Your World does, and Gun Runner himself has Lyphard in his bottom line, as does Yesshewill (and therefor as will the foal from this mating).
Even with the foregoing, TrueNicks only gives this mating (Candy Ride and his sons with Giant’s Causeway mares) a “C”, but the four stakes winners it has produced (from 68 runners) include Horse of the Year Gun Runner, G1 winning 2YO of 2021 Pinehurst, and G2 winners Liora and Rideforthecause — so that really feels above average, despite the “C” rating.
On proclivities, Candy Ride and his sons (including Rock Your World) tend to have 2YO form and then continue improving with maturity into classic types, whereas Giant’s Causeway was much the same. And of Yesshewill’s siblings, Stormello was a late-season 2YO and early 3YO, My Best Brother was a summer 3YO, Gala Award was an early-season 3YO, Cherry Lodge was graded placed at 2 before developing into a stakes winner later, and her winning sister Atlantic Voyage is the dam of Canadian champion 2YO and 3YO Curlin’s Voyage. So this mating is a nice case of like-to-like as far as that goes.
Rock Your World is a tall, scopey horse with loads of leg and substance, and Yesshewill is a nicely-made, medium-sized mare, so they should blend together well on physical, too, in addition to on paper and pedigree.