We’re roughly a third of the way through the 2012 racing season, and MINESHAFT is once again making his mark as a premier sire. The son of A.P. INDY already has five black-type winners on the year. By comparison, only one sire–Giant’s Causeway–has more with seven, and that’s been accomplished with more than double the number of runners (73 vs. 147).

MINESHAFT’s performers include the G2 Top Flight S. heroine It’s Tricky (more on her in a bit) and the 5-year-old ridgling Nates Mineshaft, who won, fittingly, the G3 Mineshaft S. at Fair Grounds.

If this year follows last, however, it’s going to be about MINESHAFT’s sophomores in 2012. After all, MINESHAFT proved in 2011 that, if you want a horse to compete in races like the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and the Travers, you want a MINESHAFT.

The sire of sophomore stars like DISCREETLY MINE (G1), Fly Down (G2), Casino Drive (G2), and Cool Coal Man (G2) ended the year with three graded stakes-winning 3-year-olds in 2011–including two Grade 1 winners–in addition to the Derby runner-up.

MINESHAFT’s son Dialed In showed he was something special on debut as a 2-year-old, and in just his second career start, confirmed his ability with a victory in the G3 Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream. In the G1 Florida Derby, he put in one of the best performances of the year, beating a field that included subsequent Grade 1 winners Shackleford, To Honor and Serve, and Stay Thirsty, and the graded winners Flashpoint and Soldat. Bred by W.S. Farish, Madeleine Pickens and Skara Glen Stables, Dialed In was sold by Lane’s End to owner Robert LaPenta and trainer Nick Zito for $475,000 as a yearling.

MINESHAFT’s daughter It’s Tricky put in a couple brilliant efforts, too. In the one-mile G1 Acorn S. at Belmont last June, she comprehensively beat G1SW Turbulent Descent by 3 3/4 lengths, with another 10 lengths back to G1SW Her Smile. Asked to tackle more ground in the nine-furlong G1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, the Godolphin colorbearer beat Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty by 3/4 lengths, with Grade 1 winners Royal Delta and Buster’s Ready back in third and fourth, respectively. It’s Tricky was also runner-up in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, G1 TVG Alabama S. and G2 Cotillion S. and concluded 2011 with a record of 8-4-3-0 and $1,019,500 in earnings. She now sits poised for another huge season after her Top Flight win.

In October, the up-and-comer Juanita captured the G2 Indiana Oaks for MINESHAFT, and after a recent strong second to Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies S., is another who looks set for a big year.

MINESHAFT’s 2011 3-year-olds also included the talented Nehro, who ran a valiant second in the Kentucky Derby and also was second in the G1 Arkansas Derby and G2 Louisiana Derby. He, too, recently made his comeback at Fair Grounds, and looked awfully sharp drawing off to a 7 1/2-length win as the 2-5 choice.

MINESHAFT was also the sire of the older stakes winners A. U. Miner, Kiss Mine, and Mineralogist.

At the sales, MINESHAFT made just as big an impact in 2011. His yearlings realized $350,000 (x2), $250,000, $180,000, $150,000, $120,000, etc.. His 16 yearlings sold averaged $113,937 off a $30,000 stud fee; mares in foal to MINESHAFT sold for up to $250,000; and his juveniles in training sold for up to $285,000.

MINESHAFT, one of the best racehorses and best sire sons of the great A.P. INDY, stands for a fee of $35,000 in 2012.

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