In his first workout since finishing third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Mine That Bird went an easy half-mile in :51 at Churchill Downs on June 29 in preparation for his next start in the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Jockey Calvin Borel was aboard for the breeze.
“He went very well, just an easy half-mile to try to stretch his legs,” said trainer Chip Woolley. “He’s fresh as daisy after he got done and really looked good.”
Mine That Bird posted fractional times of :12.80, :25.20, :38.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.40.
“He came off the track bouncing just like he was before the Derby,” Borel said. “He’s ready. He doesn’t need much. He’s playful and happy and back to right where he was before the Derby.”
Woolley said the gelding by Birdstone , who upset the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at odds of 50-1, would work every Monday leading up to the West Virginia Derby.
“We’ll probably get a little sharper work in him next week, and then back him down with a little softer work, and then another sharp one the following week,” Woolley said.
The trainer said Mine That Bird would ship to West Virginia about 10 days prior to the race, with one or two gallops and one breeze workout over the track. “Watching the races from there on television, you can tell it’s a little bit looser surface,” Woolley said. “The good thing about him (Mine That Bird) is that he's pretty light footed and gets over any ground nice and easy.”
Mine That Bird, who has won five of 12 starts and earned $2,121,581, finished second in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) before his Belmont third.
Woolley has targeted the $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga on Aug. 29 as Mine That Bird's next start after the West Virginia Derby, a race that could result in a matchup with top 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra. Mine That Bird's late close was not enough to catch the filly in the Preakness.