Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mine That Bird Headed to the Preakness

By Deirdre B. Biles

Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), will run in the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), according to Pimlico spokesman Mike Gathagan.

Gathagan said Mine That Bird’s trainer, Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. informed him of the decision to come to Maryland in a telephone conversation about 11 a.m. (EDT) May 4.

“He (Woolley) also talked to our horsemen’s relations person about 30 minutes before that,” said Gathagan, who is the vice presiident of communications for the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Pimlico.

Plans call for Mine That Bird, a gelded son of Birdstone , to arrive at Pimlico May 11 or 12, Gathagan added.

Other possible Preakness starters from the Derby are runner-up Pioneerof The Nile (second), Musket Man (third), Join in the Dance (seventh), and General Quarters (10th).

Four potential new shooters are Big Drama, winner of the 2008 Boyd Gaming Delta Jackpot (gr. III); Mr. Fantasy, winner of the Withers Stakes (gr. III); Take the Points, fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I); and Miner's Escape, winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico May 2.

The Preakness is limited to 14 starters. There have been 10 or more starters in 14 of the last 17 years.

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