Mine that Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner for Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine, continued to work toward his first start of the year by breezing six furlongs in 1:13 over a fast Churchill Downs track June 22.
With jockey Calvin Borel up, Mine That Bird (Birdstone --Mining My Own, by Smart Strike) worked after the renovation break in company with 3-year-old Bird Empire for the second consecutive week. The colt spotted Bird Empire two lengths when breaking off at the three-quarter pole and tracked his workmate to the top of the stretch, where he easily dispatched his company on the inside and finished five lengths in front.
Churchill clockers caught Mine That Bird in fractions of :12.80, :25, :37.60, and :49.60. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.20.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was all smiles after the work, the fifth for Mine That Bird since joining the Lukas barn on May 20.
“When they started training horses 300 years ago, this is what they had in mind,” Lukas said. “His last quarter was in :23 and 2 and his last eighth, it had to be :11 and change. He was flying.”
There is an allowance optional claiming race in the condition book for which Mine That Bird fits for July 3 and Lukas also has nominated Mine That Bird to the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at a mile on grass for closing day, July 4. Lukas has not committed to a start in either spot.
“I am not sure where we’ll go,” Lukas said. “He is nominated to the Salvator Mile (gr. III, at a mile on July 3 at Monmouth), which is a nice option. He is nominated to everything but the Tokyo Fair. Our goal is the Whitney (Handicap, gr. I, on Aug. 7 at Saratoga). We are going to dive right into the deep end.”