The Price Of Success: Candy Ride Rises After Successful May Campaign - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

The Price Of Success: Candy Ride Rises After Successful May Campaign

Candy Ride at Lane’s End Farm

The month of May brought with it a pair of weekends featuring a bunch of graded stakes races, surrounding the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and the sires that gave us the winners of those races look the same as the ones from the first four months of the year.

In the following charts, we'll take a look at the active stallions with the most North American graded stakes winners in 2023 through the end of May, organized into four stud fee tiers, to chart who is providing the most bang for their buck.

To be considered for this list, stallions must be active in North America for the 2023 breeding season, with an advertised fee. With runners being conceived at different stud fees in different years, this was the simplest way to keep a horse to one line. Plus, it provides a window to the stallion's current market standing, and not where it was a few years ago.

Important to note: These stats go through the end of the month for May. Results from any graded stakes races run since June 1 will be included in next month's standings.

To view last month's “Price of Success” rankings, click here.

Let's get to it.

Leading Sires Of 2023 Graded Stakes Winners, $100k Stud Fee and Up

Surprise, surprise. It was another big month for Spendthrift Farm standard-bearer Into Mischief, who notched one more individual winner and three more wins, extending his lead in both categories.

The highest-profile contribution to Into Mischief's tallies was Pretty Mischievous, whose Kentucky Oaks victory on May 5 was her second graded stakes score of the year. Two starts earlier, she established herself as a top Oaks contender with a win in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at the Fair Grounds.

On the same day that Pretty Mischievous took home the Kentucky Oaks, Played Hard gave Into Mischief his eighth graded winner on the year when she held off Secret Oath by a neck in the G1 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs. A day later at the same track, General Jim earned his second graded score of the season in the G2 Pat Day Mile Stakes to round out Into Mischief's run for the month.

In the race behind Into Mischief, Constitution and Not This Time threw their hats in the ring with their first graded winners on the year. WinStar Farm resident Constitution got on the board with Webslinger in the G2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 6, while Taylor Made Stallions' Not This Time had Up to the Mark win the G1 Turf Classic Stakes on the same day at the same track.

Leading Sires Of 2023 Graded Stakes Winners, $99k to $50k Stud Fee

With two new graded winners in May, Lane's End stalwart Candy Ride took over the mantle from Violence in this price bracket by individual winners.

Once again, the Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs factored into the jump, with Heavenly Sunday emerging victorious in the G2 Edgewood Stakes on May 5. Later that month, Candy Man Rocket picked up his sire's fourth graded score of the season when he took the G3 Runhappy Stakes on May 13 at Belmont Park.

Those two runners joined Kentucky Derby trail contenders Confidence Game (G2 Rebel Stakes) and Hit Show (G3 Withers Stakes) among Candy Ride's graded stakes winners in 2022.

Hill 'n' Dale Farms' Ghostzapper also picked up a pair of graded winners, with Our Flash Drive taking the G2 Royal North Stakes on May 13 at Woodbine, and Spirit of Makena winning the G2 Triple Bend Stakes on May 27 at Santa Anita Park.

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Leading Sires Of 2023 Graded Stakes Winners, $49k to $20k Stud Fee

Not a ton of movement in this division from the previous check-in. Lane's End resident Union Rags joins the chase with Caramel Swirl, who got on the graded stakes board with a score in the G3 Vagrancy Stakes on May 14 at Belmont Park.

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Leading Sires Of 2023 Graded Stakes Winners, $19k and Below Stud Fee

This division is getting pretty crowded, with four new sires joining the fold in May: Collected, Competitive Edge, Karakontie (a First Team member of the Paulick Report's 2022-23 All-Value Sire Team), and Mark Valeski.

A tight race at the top between Ashford Stud's Classic Empire and Spendthrift Farm's Cross Traffic continued in May, with each of them picking up a new graded stakes winner.

Classic Empire welcomed Interstatedaydream to the fold after the filly won the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 19. She joined Angel of Empire, winner of the G1 Arkansas Derby and G2 Risen Star Stakes, and G3 Royal Delta Stakes winner Classy Edition among Classic Empire's graded winners of 2023.

Classic Empire was also a First Team member of the 2022-23 All-Value Sire Team.

Maple Leaf Mel flew the flag for Cross Traffic at Pimlico on May 19 when she won the G3 Miss Preakness Stakes, joining Defining Purpose (G1 Ashland Stakes) and Hear Mi Song (G3 Commonwealth Stakes) among her sire's graded winners.

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