New Mexico state representative Candy Spence Ezzell recognized Mine That Bird as “New Mexico Horse of the Year for 2009.” The memorial passed the state’s House of Representatives Feb. 11 unanimously by a vote of 70-0.
“We were going to take the horse up to the podium and have him say a few words,” Rep. Spence Ezzell said in jest. “After all, he does live in my district.”
Mine That Bird, a son of Birdstone out of the Smart Strike mare Mining My Own, is owned by Dr. Leonard Blach’s Buena Suerte Ranch (near Roswell) and Mark Allen’s Double Eagle Ranch. The Kentucky-bred won last year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as a 50-1 shot after running second in Sunland Park’s Borderland Derby and fourth in the Sunland Derby. Sunland Park is in Sunland Park, N.M., just over the state line from El Paso, Tex.
“For the love of competition, and with the belief that strong spirit can triumph the steepest odds, Blach and Allen decided to run Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby,” Ezzell said. “He won by 6 3/4 lengths, the second largest margin in the 135 years of the Running of the Roses, bringing his supporters $101.20 on their $2 bet.
“Dr. Leonard Blach and Mark Allen have brought New Mexico positive worldwide recognition.”
Dr. Blach was present for the House proceedings and received a standing ovation from members.
As Blach accepted the House proclamation, he said it best: ‘Dream a little bit and your dreams will come true. This was always on our bucket list.”