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Hitting a Rich Seam

Mineshaft and his family were major winners over the Feb. 24-25 weekend. On Saturday, Little Belle took the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct. A daughter of A.P. Indy, she is out of Dubai Belle, a Mr. Prospector mare who is three-parts sister to Prospectors Delite, the dam of Mineshaft (Dubai Belle is by Mr. Prospector out of Flagbird, a grade I winning half sister to Prospectors Delite). All of this makes Little Belle a seven-eighths relative to the 2003 Horse of the Year.

Meanwhile, Mineshaft's stud career took a major step forward when Cool Coal Man - a member of his first crop - took the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), to become the first graded scorer for his sire. Cool Coal Man is out the Rubiano mare Coral Sea, and the A.P. Indy/Rubiano cross - which has also produced graded winners Teammate and Ecclesiastic - has already done enough to earn an A++ TrueNicks rating. Of course this is an extension of a cross that has already proved very potent in preceding generations, A.P. Indy being very good with both Rubiano's sire, Fappiano, and of course, his sire, Mr. Prospector.

There are a couple of other points of interest here. Firstly, Mineshaft is out of a Mr. Prospector mare, as are A.P. Indy's leading sons, Pulpit and Malibu Moon, who have both sired multiple stakes winners out of Mr. Prospector-line mares, including from the Fappiano branch. Secondly, whatever his shortcomings as a sire, champion sprinter Rubiano is looking very promising as a broodmare sire. His daughters have already produced 19 stakes winners, including grade I winner Take Charge Lady and graded stakes winners War Front, Victorina, and Minatlya (FR), in addition to Cool Coal Man, Ecclesiastic, and Teammate

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