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Decades ago, the great bloodstock researcher Joe Estes proved that racing class in the dam was the first and most obvious indicator that a mare could be a good producer. Then she actually had to do it.

As time, temperament, and vicissitudes of fortune have proven, even the best racemares don’t always prove notable successes at stud. And likewise, some mares who have no race records nonetheless possess the right stuff to produce the premium racers of the next generation.

That has proven the case with the now-illustrious Smart Strike mare Mining My Own, who was not raced but has produced not one but two G1 winners from her first three foals. Furthermore, the first was Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird (Birdstone), and the second is Dullahan (Even the Score), winner of the G1 Breeders’ Futurity, Blue Grass Stakes, and Pacific Classic.

Mining My Own has a useful but not illustrious female family, and it is likely that a significant element in her success as a producer lies with her sire, who has fashioned himself into one of the most important sons of his sire, Mr. Prospector. Smart Strike is, in addition to being a multiple leading sire and sire of Horse of the Year Curlin, a stallion who is likely to become an increasingly important broodmare sire as more of his better daughters get to stud and are given chances with better stallions.

One of the most salient qualities in the Smart Strike tribe is their durability and versatility, with some racing well beyond the norm and many having the ability to switch surface or to excel over different surfaces.

The offspring of Mining My Own are notable as strong finishers. Mine That Bird won his Derby due to his capacity to maintain a steady, even lethal, gallop over trying conditions, and Dullahan shows his best form when he can get a superior grip on the surface, which is one of the advantages of synthetic tracks, where all three of Dullahan’s G1 victories have come.

Mining My Own, now 11, has been bred to some of the most prominent stallions in the breed the past few years and will continue to have opportunities commensurate with her famous offspring.

The produce record is below:

1st Dam: Mining My Own, ch, 2001. Bred by Lamantia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds (KY). Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.

2006: MINE THAT BIRD, b g, by Birdstone. Raced 3 yrs in NA, 18 sts, 5 wins, $2,228,637. Won Kentucky Derby (G1), Grey Breeders’ Cup S. (G3), Swynford S., Silver Deputy S.; 2nd Preakness S. (G1), Borderland Derby; 3rd Belmont S. (G1), West Virginia Derby (G2).
2007: Brother Bird, dk b/ g, by Yonaguska. Raced 4 yrs in NA, 22 sts, 8 wins, $174,075.
2008: Barren.
At 2: Won Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1); 3rd With Anticipation S. (G2).
At 3: Won TVG Pacific Classic S. (G1), Toyota Blue Grass S. (G1); 2nd Palm Beach S. (G3); 3rd Kentucky Derby (G1).
2010: Mezah, ch f, by Tapit.  Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.
2011: No record.
2012: Unnamed foal,  c, by Giant’s Causeway.  Unraced in NA, Eng and Fr.

Broodmare sire: SMART STRIKE, b, 1992. Sire of 165 dams of 448 foals, 301 rnrs (67%), 215 wnrs (48%), 65 2yo wnrs (15%), 30 sw (7%).

2nd Dam: Aspenelle, ch, 1990. Bred by Whitco Farm (ON). Raced 1 yr in NA, 4 sts, 2 wins, $68,425 (ssi = 13.25). 2nd Canadian Oaks (R). Dam of GOLDEN SUNRAY (f, Crafty Prospector, $87,720. Won Poinciana Breeders’ Cup Handicap.).