Mine That Bird, who is looking for his first victory since romping in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), indicated his sharpness for the Oct. 10 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Santa Anita Park.
The work was the third fastest of 21 at the distance. Jockey Joe Talamo, who worked the colt in his last drill, was aboard again.
“He got off kind of soft and the early part of the work wasn’t real fast, but when he turned for home he shifted gears and he really let out down the lane, closing his last eighth in :11 2/5 and galloped out in 1:13 and change,” trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley said. “He actually galloped out faster than the 10 or 12 who worked six furlongs. Bob Baffert and I were talking afterward, and he said he thought he got over the track just super.”
"He's a Cadillac," Talamo said. "He settled real nice, and when I asked him to pick it up down the lane, he was right there for me. I just kinda chirped to him one time and that was it. He just glides over this track. It looks like all systems are go."
Considering the son of Birdstone hasn’t run since the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 1 and will be going 1 1/8 miles in the Goodwood, Woolley is just looking for a good effort to prepare him for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at the more favorable distance of 1 1/4 miles.
“The 10-week layoff is a huge concern; that’s a long stretch,” Woolley said. “But the horse is doing good and he’s really had some super works, starting in
"The problem with the Goodwood for my horse is that it’s a mile and an eighth, and the extra eighth of a mile in the Classic will make a big difference to him. As long as he runs his race, win or lose, and shows that big run down the lane, we’re going to be happy with him.”
Woolley is not concerned about the fact that Mine That Bird finished last of 12 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride last year in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
“Last year, we got in late and he wasn’t ready for the race,” Woolley said. “He chased the pace five-wide on both turns and really didn’t have much of a chance. The horse likes the racetrack OK; he just needs a better trip.
“I’ve been watching the races here and this surface looks like it takes some of the pace away, and you can really close, so Calvin, with his patience, is a good fit.”
Woolley said he will give Mine That Bird a break after the Breeders’ Cup, taking him back to