(Edited NYRA press release)
Trainer Chip Woolley sent Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird back to the main track at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 21 following a clean endoscopic examination performed by Dr. James Hunt.
"In Doc’s words, he was perfect," Woolley said. "You couldn’t tell (he had anything done) and there’s not even any inflammation around the epiglottis, everything looks just smooth, laid out flat, real pretty. So we (sent him to the track), he played all the way around there, looked like he was happy and felt good, came off the track bouncing and playing, so I would say we’re on track right now. We don’t have any excuses, the horse looks really good. Never coughed, never anything like that, so real happy with where we’re at."
Mine That Bird had minor surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis Tuesday morning at the Ruffian Equine Medical Center in Elmont, N.Y. and was sidelined from training for two days, which Woolley said he did not consider an issue.
"Oh no, he’s dead fit and fortunately we found it following a work, not going into a work…" Woolley said. "So, we’re in pretty good shape and I don’t have any worries about missing a day or two. You miss that many days of training to a muddy racetrack or any other thing, so really no big deal. We’ll scope him again in a couple of days to make sure we haven’t irritated something in there, but right now he looks as good as you could ever ask him."
Woolley said Mine That Bird would breeze again Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. on the main track in preparation for the grade I, $1 million Shadwell Travers on Aug. 29.
"I was real happy when we looked in there and (it looked) like the absolute perfect throat and you can’t even tell that anything was done in there at all. You breathe a big sigh of relief when you hear the vet pull that scope out and say ‘it looks perfect to me.’ That’s a good thing; it’s what we were looking for."
Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren’s Charitable Man turned in a bullet four-furlong work Aug. 21 in preparation for the Travers.
Charitable Man covered the half mile in 47.45, the fastest of 24 works at the distance over the main oval at Saratoga Race Course.
"He worked very well," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We were happy – probably happier with the work than we will be with the other entries, when we see them, but he’s doing very well."
Jockey Ramon Dominguez was in the irons for Friday’s work and will ride the colt in the Travers, a rider change from Alan Garcia.
"Ramon worked him this morning and really liked him," McLaughlin said. "He’s a top rider; I think he fits all horses. So is Alan, but we decided to make a change."