Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kentucky Derby Winner Mine That Bird Puts In Final Work For The Belmont Stakes 2009

Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird put in his final major prep for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes 2009 by working a half-mile in :50 under jockey Calvin Borel on Monday at Churchill Downs.

Jockey Calvin Borel backtracked Mine That Bird to the frontside and then loped around to the backstretch for the work that clockers caught in splits of :13.80, :26.60, :38.40, the half in :50 with a five-eighths gallop out time of 1:02.20 and six furlongs in 1:15.

The time for the half-mile was the 32nd fastest of 57 at the distance.

“He picked it up good the last quarter,” said race horse trainer Chip Woolley, who before the work said he was looking for something in the 49 to 49.20 range. “The main thing was the last quarter in 23 and 2. The important part was finishing strong and galloping out without weakening.”

After the work, jockey Calvin Borel was ecstatic about the work and Mine That Bird’s chances in the Belmont Stakes.

“We’re gonna win, no questions asked,” jockey Calvin Borel said. “He worked in :50 and out in 1:02, just like before the Derby. He is doing everything the same. After those two hard races (the Derby and Preakness), I think the colt is very happy.”

Race horse trainer Chip Woolley continued to the perfect fit that has become horse and rider.

“You watch when he comes out on the track with (exercise rider) Charlie (Figueroa) or anybody else and he has his head up and is looking around,” Chip Woolley said. “With Calvin, he just drops his neck and knows it is time to go to work. He knows the difference, maybe it’s because Calvin is lighter.”

Woolley is going to look in on Mine That Bird early Tuesday morning before catching a 7:15 flight to New York with Mine That Bird flying the following day.

“I think we are in good shape going into the Belmont,” Woolley said. “The horse is doing good and probably training better than he did going into the Derby.”

“It is going to be a tough race and, how many do I fear? How many are in there? Wayne’s horse (Flying Private for trainer D. Wayne Lukas) is on the improve and Kiaran’s horse (Charitable Man for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin) is a sheer monster and he likes that racetrack.”

Woolley said that Mine That Bird would return to the track early Wednesday morning to backtrack to the paddock runway and go around the track 1 1/2 times. Mine That Bird would go to the track at Belmont Park on Thursday and Friday “but not on Saturday unless he is getting rattled.”

Other Belmont Stakes starters are: Brave Victory, Charitable Man, Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, Flying Private, Luv Gov, Miner’s Escape, Mr. Hot Stuff, Summer Bird and possibly Nowhere To Hide.

The 141st running of the Belmont Stakes is horse race 11 in Belmont Park’s June 6 card. Belmont Stakes post positions will be drawn on Wednesday. Belmont Stakes post time is 6:27 pm.

Horse racing news edited from www.churchilldowns.com.

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