Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Taking a Look At Emerging Blue Hen Mare Mining My Own


In 2009, a 50-1 longshot shocked the world when he won the Kentucky Derby. 

Mine That Bird trails the field in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Mile. (Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
The gelding, a son of Birdstone out of the mare Mining My Own, was Mine That Bird. He was a underdog to many but was named Champion Juvenile in Canada and went on to finish second in the G1 Preakness Stakes and third in the G1 Belmont Stakes.

That same year, Mine That Bird’s 2-year-old half-brother sold for $485,000. The colt by Yonaguska didn’t live up to his older brother’s success and only attempted a stakes race once in his 22 race career, finishing off the board in that start. The colt, named Brother Bird, was gelded and is currently running in claiming and starter allowances. His record currently stands at eight wins and $174,075 in earnings.

Mining My Own was barren in 2008 but again struck gold with her 2009 colt by Even the Score.

That colt would sell for $250,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale and would later be named Dullahan. The chestnut colt’s 2-year-old season would be highlighted by a win in the G1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He would then go to the G1 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs and finish fourth in one of the most competitive finishes in recent years.

Dullahan’s three-year-old season would see him finishing second on the turf in the G3 Palm Beach Stakes in his 2012 debut before winning another Grade 1 at Keeneland in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. This time when Dullahan went to Churchill after his Keeneland race, he finished third in the G1 Kentucky Derby. The colt had two off the board finishes in his next two races but most recently won his third Grade One event in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes against older horses on August 26.

It should be noted that Dullahan only has three wins in his career and all of those come in Grade One races on the synthetic surface.

Dullahan before the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog)
Mining My Own has one other foal of racing age, a two-year-old filly named Mezah by current hot sire Tapit. Mezah is working at Arlington Park where she fired a bullet over three furlongs on the all-weather surface on August 3. Her last work was over five furlongs in 1:03.00 on the same surface, ranking her 27th out of 50.

Mining My Own was again barren in 2011 but foaled out a colt by Giant’s Causeway on April 13, 2012.

While it’s obvious that Mining My Own is quickly becoming a superstar dam, the 2001 mare never made it to the track.

But even with her on track talent never being determined, Mining My Own has a solid family behind her. The mare is by leading sire Smart Strike and out of the Vice Regent mare Aspenelle.

Smart Strike is the sire of Eclipse Champions Curlin, English Channel, and Looking at Lucky among others. He is also the half-brother to Dance Smartly and full brother to Strike Smartly among others. He is also sitting in the No. 10 spot on Thoroughbred Time’s General Sires list as of August 28.

On Mining My Own’s female side, Aspenelle raced four times during her career for earnings of $68,425. It took the mare two starts to break her maiden but when she did, it was an impressive 10 length victory. She went on to win an allowance by 3/4 of a length before finishing her career with a second place finish in the Canadian Oaks, losing to Deputy Jane West by six lengths.

The mare had 10 foals and Mining My Own was her fourth. Her 1997 filly named Golden Sunray by Crafty Prospector would win the 2000 Poinciana Breeders’ Cup Handicap. Hot Maneuver, her 2004 colt by Mt. Livermore made 41 starts in Japan, placing third in the Hyacinth Stakes.

Aspenelle’s dam was the Multiple Stakes Winner Little to Do. Little to Do had five foals with three winners from the four to race. While her only stakes placed horse was Aspenelle, her daughters proved to be producers.

Little to Do’s daughter Joy’s Countess, a winner of nine races, was the dam of Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes winner Blackjack Boy. She was also the dam to stakes placed Winning Wonder, a 2001 Sword Dance (IRE) mare that would come back to make one start in 2009 after a six year absence from the track where she would finish last. The chart’s only line for the mare was “Refused to break”.

Another Little to Do daughter, Jovial Lass would only win one race in 19 starts but would have much more success in the shed. Her Lite the Fuse daughter Jovial Blast would never finish off the board, winning two races, placing in another, and finishing third in the Algoma Stakes. Jovial Blast would go on to produce two stakes placed foals.

On the final female note, Little to Do’s dam was Tribal to Do. Tribal to Do didn’t do much on the track, only winning two claiming races but she was the dam of sire Crafty, the winner of the 1992 Barretts Juvenile Stakes and the third place finisher of the G3 Balboa Stakes.

While Mining My Own’s family isn’t considered as royal as some other mares in the breeding shed, it’s obvious that the mare's family can produce good horses.

Mining My Own has had two out of three of her Derby-aged horses make the Kentucky Derby with a win and a third. Even many of the best blue hens in the breeding shed can’t claim that sort of record.

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