Mine That Bird, 50-1 winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is about six weeks from being returned to the racetrack, trainer Chip Woolley said Feb. 19.
The son of Birdstone continues to rest comfortably at Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, N.M., after a demanding eight-start campaign that included a runner-up finish in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and third-place effort in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The bay gelding ended the season with a ninth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Woolley said Mine That Bird’s time off has done him a world of good.
“He has really put on a lot of weight and is doing well,” Woolley said. “Obviously, with the long year he had he was a used horse, so we decided to give him some extra time.
“He’s still being turned out, and we’re not exactly sure when he’ll (return to training); maybe the latter part of next month or the first week of April.”
Woolley said he has begun discussion with the owners, Dr. Leonard Blach and Mark Allen, about what Mine That Bird’s 4-year-old campaign will look like, though nothing has been decided.
“Mark and I were talking about it a couple days ago, but we have nothing definite decided,” Woolley said. “I think we’ll definately keep him on dirt; maybe start him off at Churchill or Belmont. It’s hard to say just yet.”
Mine That Bird, bred in Kentucky by Peter Lamantia, James Blackburn, and Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds, has earned $2,196,581 from 14 starts. He is out of the Smart Strike mare Mining My Own.