Add Rock Your World to the 2022 first-year stallion crop after the Santa Anita Derby winner was suddenly retired from racing on Monday.
The son of standout sire Candy Ride will stand at Spendthrift Farm for $10,000. Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said he’ll be featured in the farm’s “Share The Upside” breeding program for 2022. Under that program, breeders pay $12,500 for a two-year commitment. They must breed a mare for 2022 and 2023 and have two foals. After the second live foal arrives in 2024, that breeder earns a lifetime breeding right to Rock Your World.
“Rock Your World is a fast Santa Anita Derby winner with a wonderful blend of looks, pedigree, and sire power,” Toffey said in a statement. “He’s a $650,000 yearling and you can see why. He’s one imposing individual and as good-looking a Candy Ride as you’ll find. Rock Your World possesses a true classic dirt pedigree, with Empire Maker and Giant’s Causeway as his first two broodmare sires. We believe there is a lot to like.”
There was a lot to like about Rock Your World out of the gate. He won his first three races, opening 2021 with a six-furlong maiden special weight score on New Year’s Day. He followed that with a victory in the one-mile Pasadena Stakes on the Santa Anita grass in late February.
From turf to the dirt — to the Derby
Trainer John Sadler decided to start Rock Your World in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, shaking off any doubts about his lack of dirt experience. The powerfully built colt shook off all contenders, winning by 4 ¼ lengths. The accompanying 100 Beyer Speed Figure was the only triple-digit Beyer in this year’s Kentucky Derby field.
That Santa Anita Derby was Rock Your World’s high-water racing mark. He never won another race in four more starts. That included a 17th in the Derby, a sixth in the Belmont, and a ninth (out of 10) as the 1.30/1 favorite in the Oct. 31 Grade 2 Twilight Derby.
Sandwiched among those subpar finishes was a strong second by 1 ¼ lengths to Medina Spirit in the Listed Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar in August.
Rock Your World left unrealized potential
A $650,000 purchase at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Rock Your World heads to the breeding shed with earnings of $612,100. He retires with a 3-1-0 record in seven starts and a feeling of unfulfilled promise. Out of the multiple stakes-winning mare Charm the Maker, Rock Your World’s first three dams were either multiple stakes winners or graded stakes winners.