Stone Farm: For half of a century.
If you take care of the land,
the land will take care of you.
We’re trying to raise you a good horse.
We sell only what we raise.
Sugar Rush for Bell…
Gatewood Bell doesn’t remember ever buying anything by Candy Ride (Arg) before, but within the space of some 10 minutes at Saturday’s session of the Keeneland September sale, the bloodstock agent doubly rectified that, first going to $425,000 for a colt by the Lane’s End stallion and then acquiring a filly by the sire for $210,000. Both yearlings were consigned by Arthur Hancock’s Stone Farm and both were bought to race on behalf of separate unidentified clients.
The colt (hip 1493), bred by Stone Farm, is a half-brother to stakes winner Clear Sailing (Empire Maker), while the colt’s winning dam Steady Course (Old Trieste) is closely related to GSW & GISP Jump Start (A.P. Indy).
Asked what he liked about the dark bay colt, Bell said, “Mostly the people who raised him.” Then he added, “He was an athlete. He was one of the best movers that I saw all day. He had everything I want in a horse.”
Hancock, whose Stone Farm sold two-time Group 1 winning juvenile Air Force Blue (War Front) for $490,000 at this sale a year ago, knew he was leading a special colt into the Keeneland sales ring Saturday evening.
“I just knew he was a really nice colt with a great attitude and so good looking,” Hancock, who purchased Steady Course for $20,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale, said. “He looked like he could be any kind of horse. We had six scopes and a heart scan or two and some really good people looking at him. We just hoped he would sell well. The way I look at this, the world is here and they’re a lot smarter than me. So I was hoping he might bring between $200,000 and $300,000 because he’s a really nice colt. Gatewood Bell bought him and that’s special to me because the Hancocks and the Bells go way back. It was a good sale and a good horse.”
The Candy Ride filly, hip 1498, is out of Strawberry Sense (A.P. Indy) and is a half-sister to stakes placed Distillery (Dixie Union). Strawberry Sense is a half to juvenile champion Vindication (Seattle Slew) and a full to graded stakes winner Scipion. The yearling was bred by Payson Stud.
“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever bought a Candy Ride before,” Bell said. “I just loved both of these. And I love Arthur.”
Bell admitted the Candy Ride colt was the first horse he had to stretch to buy.
“With the colt, that was the first time that I bid one more time than I had planned on,” Bell said. “The ones I’ve gotten have been for less [than expected], but that’s the way an auction works. At the end of the day at an auction, when you buy a horse, you’re the only one in the world who thinks it’s worth that much money. You’ve overvalued them compared to every other person here until time tells differently.”