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Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Rock Your World
Rock Your World (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Rock Your World

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) less than 1 month away, I’m back for my second year of analyzing some of the top contenders’ pedigrees.

This week’s subject: Rock Your World

Trained by John Sadler and owned by Michael Talla and Hronis Racing, Rock Your World is a new face to the Kentucky Derby trail who’ll put his perfect 3-for-3 record on the line in the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Ranking

Rock Your World is currently in sixth place in the Kentucky Derby point standings with 100 points that he earned by going gate to wire in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). This lightly-raced colt will be looking to join Justify as the only Kentucky Derby winners to not race as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. The Santa Anita Derby was also Rock Your World’s first start on the dirt, as prior to this he had only run on the turf. With the Kentucky Derby being only his fourth career start, lets see if Rock Your World’s pedigree has what it takes to remain perfect.

Sire Profile

Candy Ride

Major career wins: 2002 San Isidro (G1), 2002 Joaquin S. de Anchorena (G1), 2003 American Handicap (G2), 2003 Pacific Classic (G1).

The Argentinian-bred Candy Ride only raced 6 times in his career, but he was flawless in all efforts including defeating Medaglia d’Oro in the 2003 Pacific Classic. He was a Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt and has become a multidimensional sire who’s had plenty of success over the past several years.

With a bloodline that runs through the great Mr. Prospector, it is no wonder that Candy Ride has sired champions and multiple Grade 1 winners such as Gun Runner, Game Winner, and the late Shared Belief. However, when it comes to the Kentucky Derby, Candy Ride foals have had a tough time. Despite having sired multiple 2-year-old champions (Shared Belief and Game Winner), Candy Ride foals sport a record of 6-0-0-1 on the first Saturday of May, with the lone in-the-money finish being Gun Runner’s third in the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

The six (soon to be seven) Kentucky Derby starters for Candy Ride seems rather low, considering his first crop was eligible to run in the 2009 Derby, but he had some unfortunate luck with a couple horses who many considered to be serious contenders but failed to make the starting gate. The 2013 2-year-old champion Shared Belief and the undefeated Mastery in 2017 appeared on their way to being favorites in the Kentucky Derby until injuries derailed them. Will Rock Your World be lucky number seven for Candy Ride?

Dam Profile

Charm the Maker

Major career wins: None

While she finished her career with a record of 19-3-2-3, Charm the Maker had a record of 3-0-1-1 in Grade 1 races. She won 2 listed stakes in her career, but overall, her racing career was just okay. As the daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Empire Maker, her bloodlines can be traced back to the Mr. Prospector on her sire side and Storm Cat on her dam side. With bloodlines like these, it’s no wonder that Charm the Maker is off to such a hot start as a broodmare.

As a broodmare, Charm the Maker has had a total of four foals, three of which were sired by Candy Ride (the other is by Curlin). She’s Our Charm and Rock Your World were her first two foals, and both were sold at auctions as yearlings. She’s Our Charm, full older sister to Rock Your World, sold for $600,000 as a yearling in 2017, and Rock your World sold for $650,000 as a yearling in 2019. For her first two foals to bring over $1 million at auction is very impressive, and her future as a broodmare appears to be very bright.

Rock Your World winning the Pasadena (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Overall, Rock Your World has not rocked my world leading into the Kentucky Derby. His Santa Anita Derby win was impressive, there’s no question that he’ll get the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles, and he should be a major pace factor, but I cannot see him defeating both Concert Tour and Essential Quality based on what I’ve seen so far. Will Rock Your World prove me wrong in the Kentucky Derby?

Let me know what you think!

Vinny Blond is a New York-based handicapper who is one half of Real Dynasty Picks. Follow him on Twitter @PicksByDynasty.

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