Mine That Bird Works Toward Derby

Grindstone gelding was last year's Canadian champion 2-year-old male.

Mine That Bird, the 2008 Canadian champion 2-year-old male, worked five furlongs in 1:02 April 27 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

The time was 19th fastest among 26 horses working the distance as the son of Birdstone  posted frational splits of :13, :25 2/5, :37 2/5, and :49 4/5. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.

Now trained by Ben Woolley Jr., Mine That Bird was bred in Kentucky by Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds, James Blackburn, and Peter Lamantia.

“Things went super,” Woolley said afterward. “I’m really happy with my horse. It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted – he started slower and finished up super-strong. He came back to the barn really playing. That’s as good as you are ever going to see him feeling. He’s not an animated horse.”

Initially sold for $9,500 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale, the 3-year-old gelding began his career in Canada where he won three stakes. Then trained by David Cotey, Mine That Bird took the Silver Deputy, Swynford, and Grey (Can-III) Stakes at Woodbine before being purchased by New Mexico-based owners Double Eagle Ranch and Suerte Equine.

Sent to trainer Richard Mandella in Southern California to compete in the Bessemer Trust Breders’ Cup (gr.  I), the gelding finished last in the 12-horse field. Under Woolley’s conditioning in 2009, Mine That Bird ran second in the Borderland Derby before finished fourth in the Sunland Derby, both at Sunland Park. He has won half of his eight career starts and earned $374,381.

Mine That Bird is the first foal produced from the unraced Smart Strike mare Mining My Own.