Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird will not breeze this weekend as originally planned in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 2, according to trainer Tim Ice.
Bill Woolley is handling his brother's stable while the Derby-winning trainer is on the road with Mine That Bird
Dunkirk, a brave second to Summer Bird in the June 6 Belmont Gr. I), continues to recuperate nicely in his stall from surgery to insert a screw in a non-displaced condylar fracture in his left rear cannon bone.
All the obvious thoughts on this year's bizarre, but memorable Triple Crown have been discussed regarding the major players. But there were unsung heroes as well who did not wind up in the winner's circle, yet contributed to the memories.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Similarities in the pedigrees of Summer Bird (by Birdstone) and Gabby's Golden Gal (by Medaglia d'Oro) provide some insights into the bloodlines of their young sires.
One of the strangest Triple Crowns in memory has come to an end, leaving being a flood of memories and wild and wacky moments.
BlackBerry Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra turned in solid six-furlong workout June 8 at Churchill Downs as the team behind the 3-year-daughter of Medaglia d'Oro considers her next start.
A crowd of 52,861 wagered $9,021,196 on Belmont Stakes Day races June 6, compared with $13,233,071 on-track handle a year ago when Big Brown's Triple Crown attempt was witnessed by 94,476. The 2008 handle figure was second-highest in Belmont Stakes Day wagering history.
Join Blood-Horse Editor-in-Chief Dan Liebman for a live blog from Belmont Park Saturday, June 6th, from Noon EDT to 1:00 pm.
Warning: what you are about to read should be taken with extreme skepticism. Not to sound self deprecating, but yours truly is on one nasty losing streak in the Triple Crown, and the selection for the Belmont Stakes will be made as a means of self defense.
Ok, I am officially smitten with Mine That Bird. I admit to being one of those misguided souls who paid no attention to him before the Kentucky Derby other than to comment what a beautiful mover he was. After the Preakness and seeing him on the Belmont track Thursday morning, I have to say in simplest of terms this is one cool horse.
When considering company that you'd be honored to be associated with, Penny Chenery would make a fine start. Owner Robert LaPenta has two chances to join Chenery and her Meadow Stable as the most recent back-to-back winners of the Triple Crown's third jewel.
The two key figures in the pace scenario for Saturday's Belmont Stakes are Miner's Escape and Charitable Man. The former will be a longshot in the field of 10, while Charitable Man was made the 3-1 second choice behind Mine That Bird. So, let's see how this may play out.
Mine That Bird will face nine rivals in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Calvin Borel will look to become the first jockey to win all three Triple Crown races on two different horses.
If you happen to be walking the sidewalks of New York in the days leading up to the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), you just might run into diet guru Jenny Craig, who will be in town for the race.
So, when the interviews are done and night spreads over Churchill Downs and all that remains to be done at Churchill Downs is cleaning tons of trash off the ground, does one's life really change after winning the world's most famous race?
Remember when D. Wayne Lukas won an amazing six Triple Crown races in a row and seven of eight from 1994 to 1996? Remember when Lukas sent out one of the most improbable Belmont Stakes winners ever in Commendable? Well, before you dismiss Lukas' pair of longshots this year, remember who you're dealing with.
As hot jockey Calvin Borel rides a wave of media exposure, trainer-turned-money-manager Clint Goodrich is assisting him in sorting out appearance, book, and endorsement opportunities.
The "other" son of Birdstone being pointed toward the Belmont Stakes, Summer Bird represents the successful racing and breeding operation of Drs. Kalarikkal K. and Vilasini Devi Jayaraman.
"Between :49 and :50." That has become your standard instructions by a trainer to his rider prior to a horse's final work for the Belmont Stakes. Gone are the days when trainers would work their horse at least seven furlongs, more likely a mile or even a mile and an eighth for the grueling "Test of the Champion."
Chocolate Candy put the finishing touches on his preparations for the June 6 running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), with a final breeze at Belmont Park June 1.
An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.
Whatever the reasons for Jess Jackson delaying his decision on Rachel Alexandra's Belmont Stakes status, Chip Woolley, trainer of Mine That Bird, is prepared to wait him out and will not name a rider for the Kentucky Derby winner until Jackson announces his decision.
And so the racing world waits anxiously for Jess Jackson to announce his decision regarding Rachel Alexandra's Belmont Stakes status. Notice it says announce his decision, not waits for him to decide.
Mr. Hot Stuff worked a bullet five furlongs over Polytrack at Keeneland Race Course on May 26 in preparation for a start in the 141st running of the 1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6 at Belmont Park.
Jockey Calvin Borel, who is in the enviable position of being considered to ride the country's two best 3-year-olds in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), was aboard Monday, May 25 as Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird worked four furlongs in :51.
Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra worked a half-mile in :50 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs early May 25. Co-owner Jess Jackson explained that the filly is doing well but that no decision has been made over whether she will contest the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
There was a quote from D. Wayne Lukas in Saturday's New York Post suggesting the distances of the Triple Crown races be changed to 1 1/8 miles, 1 3/16 miles, and 1 1/4 miles. Lukas said, "Nobody cares about mile and a half horses any more."
It was a busy May 23 morning at Belmont Park for contenders of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Charitable Man, Summer Bird, and Dunkirk all breezing on the main track.
Belmont Stakes contenders Summer Bird, sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and Charitable Man, winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) earlier this month, are both scheduled to breeze May 23 on the main track at Belmont Park in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
William K. Warren's Charitable Man, impressive winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II), will make his next start in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed May 20.
After two days off and a 9 1/2-hour van ride from Baltimore, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the track at Churchill Downs for a light jog Tuesday, May 19. Meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra walked under Asmussen's shedrow on her second day back at Churchill.
Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," wrote: "One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again'?"
For the second race in a row, Mine That Bird's connections must look for a different rider, as Mike Smith has decided to honor his commitment and ride Jerry and Ann Moss' Madeo in the Charlie Whittingham Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park the same day as the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Early on the morning of May 18, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley had just loaded Mine That Bird into a horse trailer and was preparing for the 9-10 hour drive from Baltimore, Md., to Louisville, where the little gelding had won the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before going on to finish second in the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
One day after combining to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel were enthusiastic in their praise of the Rachel Alexandra.
Rachel Alexandra's star turn in the Blackberry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) drove TV ratings of the race to their highest overnight ratings in five years.
Calvin Borel made the right choice and history was made May 16 at Pimlico, when for the first time the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner not only ran in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) but won the race in convincing fashion. Rachel Alexandra finished first and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Mine That Bird was second.
As of about 6:45 a.m. EDT, every horse was on the grounds at Pimlico Race Course for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
How much did the addition of the filly Rachel Alexandra mean to the dynamics of the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I)? According to the patrons at Pimlico Race Course the day before the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, it meant everything.
Can Rachel Alexandra come back in two weeks and beat the boys after earning outrageous speed figures that suggest a bounce is imminent? Was Mine That Bird's shocking Kentucky Derby score a fluke or the birth of a superstar?
Papa Clem, the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner who turned in a lackluster five-furlong work in 1:05 at Pimlico on Tuesday, was given a sharp blowout by trainer Gary Stute Friday morning.
As Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), quietly goes about his business at Pimlico in preparation for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), so does the man who has been at his side since the Birdstone gelding's unlikely Triple Crown quest began. Charlie Figueroa is Mine That Bird's excercise rider and groom.
There was little new activity Thursday morning, although Pioneerof the Nile did have his first feel of the Pimlico track. Rachel Alexandra went unseen, walking the shed at around 4:30, but did show up for all to see in the afternoon, schooling in the paddock before the fourth race.
A field of 13 is set to line the gates at Pimlico Race Course May 16 for the 1 3/16-mile classic. It is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing Preakness Stakes in recent memory.
If the forecast is accurate, winner Mine That Bird and other horses that competed in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) may face a similar off track in the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Horse owner and breeder Jess Jackson said May 13 that entering super filly Rachel Alexandra against males in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is not a battle of the sexes but rather a sporting gesture designed to have the best horses racing against each other.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra drew post 13 and was installed as the solid 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico.
The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for 134th running of the $1-million Preakness (gr. I) was completed May 13 when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m. EDT for the short trip to Louisville International Airport for their flight to Baltimore.
There is no denying that Ahmed Zayat started a firestorm of controversy when he went on HRTV and TVG to announce and then take back his intentions of trying to keep Rachel Alexandra out of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The predicted fallout occurred, but it is now time to cut him some slack.
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