By Sid Fernando
Dialed In, the winner of the G1 Florida Derby Sunday at Gulfstream Park, is by the A.P. Indy sire Mineshaft, who started his career at Lane’s End with great fanfare and a $100,000 stud fee in 2004, wobbled early, but has come on late to make a case for himself and vindicate the view we had of him here at WTC, Inc.
Four years ago, when Mineshaft’s first crop of 2-year-olds hit the track in 2007, the late Jack Werk, founder of WTC, Inc., predicted big things for the stallion in a post here on April 17, 2007, on freshmen sires:
April 17th, 2007
I love Vindication’s chances to become 2007′s leading freshman sire, as well as becoming a major long-term success. He’s got almost all the things I like to see in a stallion prospect. He was a brilliant runner. He retired undefeated, won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and was named Champion 2YO of 2002.
From a pedigree standpoint, he is, in my opinion, the best outcross (no Mr. Prospector and only one distant strain of Northern Dancer in his pedigree) to come along in the U.S. since A.P. Indy (also by Seattle Slew).
He is also a standout conformationally, as his $2.15 million yearling sale price would indicate. More importantly, he is passing on his athletic good looks to his progeny. He had the highest weanling average and second-highest yearling average among all freshman sires with several bringing over a million dollars.
I thought he was a bargain at $50,000 his first year at stud and the same when they increased his fee to $60,000 the second year. Commercial breeders agree and I expect those who breed to race will agree before the year is over!
I don’t know if he will sire enough precocious two-year-olds to get him to the top of the standings by year’s end, but as a future stallion superstar, Mineshaft is a no-brainer! He’s by A.P. Indy, and out of a Mr. Prospector mare who produced five foals and they are ALL stakes winners. After a mediocre racing career on the turf in Europe at two and three, he came home where he promptly won seven stakes races (four of them G1), and earned $2.2 million + at four, for which he was named 2003′s Horse of the Year. He had the second-highest weanling average and third-highest yearling average among all freshman sires. Great pedigree, great race record, great sale averages — what more can I say?
3. EMPIRE MAKER
Empire Maker is definitely capable of proving me wrong on my top two selections! He’s a classic winner with a blue-chip pedigree top and bottom. He is by Unbridled and out the incomparable Toussaud, dam of five graded stakes winners. And, Empire Maker had the highest yearling sale average of all the freshman sires.
Vindication is dead, Empire Maker—successful here—is now in Japan, but Mineshaft continues to sire quality SWs after appearing early that he might flop. He is also a part of the A.P. Indy brigade of sires (and Vindication was by Slew) that we were and are bullish on for the US environment because they are suited for dirt and bring stamina back to the equation. Horses like Malibu Moon, Pulpit and his sons (which include Tapit), plus younger studs Congrats and Bernardini and others are continuing the momentum of this line.
Last year, A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit was represented by the Florida Derby winner Ice Box for Dialed In’s connections—owner Robert LaPenta and trainer Nick Zito—and that colt ran a good second in the Kentucky Derby. Dialed In is now headed to Louisville, too, where he stands a great chance. By winning the Florida Derby, Dialed in became his sire’s second G1 winner behind G1 sprinter Discreetly Mine—now at stud at Lane’s End.
Altogether the sire of 20 SWs (which does not include his Russian Derby winner and President’s Cup winner Monomakh), Mineshaft has shown a tendency to get speedier types than he himself was on the track, but part of this may be due to the inbreeding to Mr. Prospector that is evident in many of his SWs. Plus in the case of his son Fly Down—also trained by Zito until recently—it didn’t stop him from a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
Mineshaft stands for $25,000 live foal and is the current leading fourth-crop sire.