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As a daughter of Forty Niner out of a stakes-placed Halo mare, Miner’s Blessing had serious prospects, but she never raced. Sold as a 4-year-old out of the Stuart Janney III broodmare band when carrying her first foal (cover by Salt Lake), she brought $180,000. As a half-sister to stakes winner Conquistadoress, Miner’s Blessing seemed quite a serious member of an up and coming family.

Then the plan faltered a bit. The mare went to her fifth live foal before producing a stakes horse, Busher Stakes winner Olivine (by Royal Academy). The mare’s ninth offspring and eighth named foal is the Bluegrass Cat colt Sabercat, who won the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs on Saturday.

Once the musty lost slipper of horse racing, Delta Downs has been reborn through the cash infusion from the riverboat casinos and slots that Louisiana horsemen brokered for the benefit of their racing and breeding programs. It has been such a success that stables from both coasts sent serious prospects to contend for the massive purses in the premium events.

So Sabercat had some good competition, and the rangy bay proved his courage for owners Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. They purchased Sabercat at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $120,000 from co-breeders Lantern Hill Farm (Suzi Shoemaker) and Bill Punk.

The latter had initially purchased Miner’s Blessing as a mate for his Champagne Stakes winner Ordway when that horse was standing at Claiborne Farm. The mare produced a winner by Ordway and has done better with subsequent sires.

The produce record is below:

Sire: BLUEGRASS CAT, b, 2003. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 11 sts, 5 wins, $1,761,280. Won Haskell Invitational S. (gr. 1), Remsen S. (gr. 2), Nashua S. (gr. 3), Sam F. Davis S.; 2nd Kentucky Derby (gr. 1), Belmont S. (gr. 1), Travers S. (gr. 1), Tampa Bay Derby (gr. 3).

Lifetime: 2 crops, 198 foals, 131 Rnrs (66%), 68 Wnrs (34%), 34 2yo wnrs (17%), 5 sw (3%).

1st Dam: Miner’s Blessing, dkbbr, 1994. Bred by Stuart S. Janney, III (KY). Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.

1999: Salt Lake King, dk b/ c, by Salt Lake. Raced 1 yr in NA, 2 sts, 1 wins, $35,445.
2000: Blue Ginger, b f, by Ordway. Raced 1 yr in NA, 2 sts, 1 wins, $5,596.
2001: Slipped.
2002: Unnamed foal, ch c, by Forestry.
2003: Fabled, dk b/ g, by Tale Of The Cat. Raced 3 yrs in NA, 20 sts, 3 wins, $135,720.
2004: OLIVINE, b f, by Royal Academy. Raced 3 yrs in NA, 13 sts, 2 wins, $95,534. Won Busher S.; 3rd Sugar Plum Time S.
2005: Tsavorite, dk b/ g, by Johannesburg. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 11 sts, 4 wins, $41,636.
2006: Barren.
2007: Donegal County, dk b/ g, by Tale Of The Cat. Raced 2 yrs in NA, 7 sts, 1 wins, $21,598.
2008: Mr. Producer, dk b/ c, by Dehere.  Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.
At 2: Won Garden State S., Delta Downs Jackpot S. (gr. 3).
2010: Unnamed foal, dk b/ f, by Purge.

Broodmare sire: FORTY NINER, ch, 1985. Sire of 273 dams of 1312 foals, 1036 rnrs (79%), 626 wnrs (48%), 159 2yo wnrs (12%), 81 sw (6%).

2nd Dam: Bless You, dkbbr, 1985. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Stuart S. Janney, Jr., (MD). Raced 3 yrs in NA, 22 sts, 5 wins, $115,640 (ssi = 5.23). 3rd Geisha Handicap (R). Dam of CONQUISTADORESS (f, Seeking The Gold, $275,660. Won Opa Locka S.; 2nd Ashland S. (gr. 1), Black-Eyed Susan S. (gr. 2), Reeve Schley Jr. S. (gr. 2); 3rd Beaumont S. (gr. 2). Dam of Tamamo Create (JPN).