With five graded stakes winner and nine total stakes winners in 2012, MINESHAFT renewed his status as one of A.P. INDY’s leading lights at stud.

The lone American Horse of the Year by the immortal A.P. INDY and the only Seattle Slew-line Horse of the Year but for his own sire, MINESHAFT was represented by the likes of It’s Tricky in 2012. That Godolphin colorbearer, winner of the G1 CCA Oaks and G1 Acorn S. at 3, added another top-level success at 4 in the form of the G1 Ogden Phipps H. at Belmont, won over a field that included Awesome Maria. It’s Tricky’s 2012 campaign also included wins in the G2 Distaff H. over seven furlongs at Aqueduct and in the G2 Top Flight H., over 1 1/16 miles at the same track, and placings in the G1 Beldame S. and G1 Personal Ensign H.

It’s Tricky was preparing for a start in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic–she finished second in the 2011 renewal–when she exited a work with some heat in her ankle, and she was retired with a record that spoke volumes. She won eight of 14 starts, with four seconds and a third, and banked over $1.6 million for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn. “She was a real star,” said McLaughlin. “Even though she was tricky, she was a barn favorite, because there were so many people involved with her because of that. She was highly thought of and respected in our organization. Grade 1′s are hard to win, and she was a multiple Grade 1 winner.”

MINESHAFT also was the sire of Hightail, the $345,000 OBS March juvenile who broke his maiden in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita for Bluegrass Hall and trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Among older horses, Nates Mineshaft proved to be one of the best of his generation. He went on a four-race winning skein that included the G2 New Orleans H. and G3 Mineshaft H., then came back later to romp by over seven lengths in the G3 Lone Star Park H. The 5yo set a quick pace in the G1 Stephen Foster H. at Churchill in June and dug in gamely to be beaten just a length by Ron the Greek and eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

Another to put up a big effort under the Twin Spires was the 4yo filly Juanita, who won off by two lengths in the G2 La Troienne S. over a pair of fillies who had down their best running in Louisville, the 2011 Kentucky Oaks 1-2 Plum Pretty and St. John’s River.

MINESHAFT’s further 2012 standouts included the G2 Clasico Gustavo Prado Heudebert winner Sheriff Pete, the New York stakes winners Mine Over Matter and Redding Colliery, stakes winners Lacie Slew and Andeluna, and the graded performers Hoist and Nehro.

The quality of MINESHAFT’s runners was reflected on two major end-of-year charts. On the Average Earnings Index, MINESHAFT ranked 7th among North American sires with a strong AEI of 2.17. That put him on par with Speightstown and ahead of War Front (2.10), Unbridled’s Song (2.03), Bernardini (1.94), Giant’s Causeway (1.87), etc.

Bill Oppenheim’s APEX ratings told a similar story. MINESHAFT’s huge ‘A Runner’ Index of 2.88 was bettered by only five sires, and outpaced Tapit, Distorted Humor, Unbridled’s Song, Giant’s Causeway, etc.

MINESHAFT starred at the sales, too. His yearlings brought $310,000 (Ken McPeek), $270,000 (Repole Stabe), $175,000 (Marc Keller), $150,000 (Whitehorse Stables), $140,000 (Whitehorse Stables), $120,000 (H.C. & T. O. Meyerhoff), $100,000 (Green Acres), etc.

Mares selling in foal to MINESHAFT included the $275,000 Miss Salsa (Unbridled), sister to sire Mutakddim and dam of this last year’s MGSW Pacific Ocean.

What’s the lesson? Whether you’re looking for a Grade 1 runner or a home run sales horse, MINESHAFT will get you the gold.

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