The 2012 Breeders’ Cup was kicked off with a superb performance by a son of a Lane’s End stallion, and our sires continued to be well represented during two thrilling days of the World Championships!

It was MINESHAFT’s Hightail, owned by Brad Kelley’s Bluegrass Hall and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who won the Breeders’ Cup opener on Friday, the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint. Still a maiden entering the race, the strapping dark bay colt saved ground just off the pace and was crying out for room by the top of the stretch. He gamely forged his way through a narrow opening along the pine and got his nose in front on the line.

“I had a great trip, saved ground, and just waited behind horses,” said winning jockey Rajiv Maragh. “He showed a lot of courage coming through the narrow opening.”

“I just thought we had a great shot,” added Lukas. “These races are historically very fast up front, [and] we’re a good closer.”

Hightail was a $110,000 KEESP yearling and a $345,000 OBSMAR juvenile.

In the feature on Friday’s card, Royal Delta, produced by the A.P. INDY mare Delta Princess, won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic in compelling fashion, gamely holding off SMART STRIKE’s brilliant 3yo daughter My Miss Aurelia for the win.

The inimitable Groupie Doll, everyone’s favorite female sprinter, did her thing in Saturday’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The daughter of BOWMAN’S BAND, who stood at Lane’s End for two seasons before his untimely passing, overcame a wide trip to power home a convincing winner over Dust and Diamonds. The win wrapped up divisional honors for the 4-year-old and pushed her career earnings to well over $1.5 million. Congratulations to trainer Buff Bradley, who owns and bred the chestnut with his father Fred.

In other Breeders’ Cup action, A.P. INDY’s Dreaming of Julia ran third in the G1 Juvenile Fillies, CITY ZIP’s 3yo filly Reneesgotzip finished a close-up third against males in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint; and LEMON DROP KID’s Balance the Books was a hard-charging third in the G1 Juvenile Turf.

We congratulate the connections of these horses, and the connections of all the Breeders’ Cup winners!

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