Willow Grove in Fast Lane

Brilliant G2 Dwyer Stakes winner Mint Lane will stand at Ralph and Linda Satchell’s Willow Grove in South Australia this year.

Mint Lane (USA) is a handsome son of Champion 2yo and outstanding sire Maria’s Mon.  He represents the Raise a Native sireline and his dam is by 1982 Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo (Mr. Prospector) who also won the Dwyer Stakes.

“I think he will be a wonderful outcross for mares who are inbred to Northern Dancer and his pedigree looks a perfect fit for Danehill line mares,” Ralph Satchell said.  “He’s a very good looking horse who was able to sustain his speed to run a strong mile and he invariably led in all his races.”

Mint Lane’s first two wins at Aqueduct were by a combined margin of 14 lengths before he stepped up to score at Listed level in the Postponed Stakes at Belmont by five lengths.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens kept raising the bar and Mint Lane responded to score another barrier-to-box victory in the 91st running of the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes.  In his usual racing style, he went straight to the lead, with Ready’s Image challenging in second spot.  They clocked 46.59s for the opening half-mile and the leader kept going to score by almost three lengths.

Mint Lane also finished a head second to Icabad Crane in the LR Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico and second to highly regarded Casino Drive in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes.

Bred in Kentucky for Pope McLean senior and his two sons in association with William Schiffman, Mint Lane raced for Headley Bell’s Pinebloom Stable.

“Mint Lane was a genuine racehorse who had the speed and talent to put away his opposition,” Jerkens said.  “Unfortunately, he injured an hind ankle shortly after the Dwyer.”

Mint Lane, who stands 16.1 hands, caught the eye from the time he was offered as a foal at the 2005 Keeneland November Sale.  He made $110,000 and then commanded a winning bid of $270,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

He is a son of ill-fated sire Maria’s Mon (Wavering Monarch) who was voted Champion USA 2YO after winning the G1 Champagne Stakes and G1 Futurity Stakes.  He shot to fame as a sire when his first crop son Monarchos, now a successful sire in Kentucky, won the Kentucky Derby.

Maria’s Mon stood at Pin Oak Stud and his fee had increased from $7,500 to $60,000 by the time he died in 2007.  “His death is a big loss to us here and to the industry as a whole,” Pin Oak general manager Clifford Barry said in 2007.  “He got sound, precocious two-year-olds that stretched out to Derby distances like Monarchos.”

Maria’s Mon left 45 stakes winners including Champion 3YO Filly Wait a While and Monarchos who clocked the second fastest Kentucky Derby in history behind Secretariat.

Ralph Satchell has set Mint Lane’s first season fee at $6,600.