Trainer Chip Woolley, who had said Mine That Bird would not have a workout prior to the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), apparently called an audible and breezed the son of Birdstone at Churchill Downs May 11.
Mine That Bird, who posted a stunning upset victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 1/5 under jockey Calvin Borel. His recorded fractions were :12.80, :25.20, and :37 as he galloped out five-eighths in 1:02.80.
“That was no work for him,” Woolley said. “He didn’t flare a nostril coming back. Calvin did a great job.”
Although Borel was aboard for a rail-skimming ride with Mine That Bird in the Derby, he is committed to ride Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, if the filly runs in the Pimlico classic.
“Calvin has first call,” Woolley said. “Mike Smith has agreed to be the backup and he will be there to ride him (if Rachel Alexandra runs).”
Woolley said he decided to let Mine That Bird do more than jog or gallop because “he was getting a little too wound up. He went super and looked good. We just let him finish the last eighth of a mile and let him settle.”
The time ranked 17th among 48 horses working the distance.
Woolley, who has been treated by a Louisville doctor for problems associated with a broken leg sustained in a motorcycle accident, said he plans to let the gelding walk the shedrow Tuesday before loading him on his van and making the trek to Baltimore.
Jerry Hissam, Borel’s agent, said the jockey thought Mine That Bird “went terrific. He’s ready.”
After the workout, Borel immediately boarded a plane to Burbank, Calif., for an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” Tuesday, May 12.
The winner of five of nine starts, including the Grey Stakes (Can-III), Mine That Bird has earned $1,791,581. The 2008 Canadian champion 2-year-old male was initially sold for $9,500 as a yearling at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. Present owners Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine purchased him privately for $400,000.