In his second workout since returning to Churchill Downs for new trainer D. Wayne Lukas, 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird worked a half-mile in :48 flat with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons.
Churchill Downs clockers caught Mine That Bird in fractions of :12 2/5, :24 1/5, and out five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 immediately after the track opened following the morning renovation break. The half-mile time was the second fastest of 32 at the distance over a fast track.
It was the first time Borel had been on the 4-year-old gelding since the son of Birdstone finished ninth behind the undefeated Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
“He has really blossomed since last fall and has gotten bigger,” said Borel in a release. “The time off did him good. He was real good this morning. He went nice and easy and galloped out good.”
Mine That Bird had worked three furlongs in :35 1/5 May 26 after having arrived at Churchill Downs May 20 from the Double Eagle Ranch of co-owner Mark Allen in Roswell, N.M.
Lukas liked what he saw in Mine that Bird’s work June 2.
“He went real nice,” Lukas said in a statement. “It is a delight to see one breeze like that and enjoy what he is doing. He gets over the ground beautifully.
“Calvin was excited. The first thing he said to me was ‘That was something.’ ”
In addition to the Kentucky Derby victory, Borel also rode Mine That Bird to a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and was aboard for the gelding’s final two starts of 2009, the Goodwood (gr. I), in which he finished sixth, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on the synthetic Pro-Ride surface.
Lukas said he has no comeback race for Mine That Bird targeted at this time.
“When we start, we want him to be dead right,” Lukas said. “Our long-range plan is the ($750,000) Whitney (Handicap, gr. I at 1 1/18 miles Aug. 7 at Saratoga). He took a big step forward today.”