You all remember Mine That Bird, don't you? The 50-1 upset winner of the Kentucky Derby. The second-longest shot in the storied history of the First Saturday in May to wear the roses. Well, you know he has not won a race since that First Saturday in May, don't you? He ran a tremendous 2nd behind the Horse Of The Year, Rachel Alexandra, in the Preakness. He then finished 3rd in the Belmont Stakes behind the likely Three-Year-Old Male Horse Of The Year, Summer Bird. He followed that with another 3rd in the West Virginia Derby behind a ridiculous pace set-up that completely compromised his chances to win at all and he lost out to longshot, Soul Warrior. His next full public appearance was at Ruidoso Downs to lead out the field of American Quarter Horses for the $2,000,000 All-American Futurity. Actually, this was kind of a classy move by his trainer, Chip Woolley, acknowledging his New Mexico roots.
Now, Mine That Bird is ready to try his hand with a return to the synthetic surfaces at Santa Anita this Saturday in the Grade 1 $350,000 Goodwood Stakes. Don't forget that Mine That Bird DOES have extensive experience on the synthetic stuff with his fine performances at Woodbine last fall. Those performances were fine enough that he was named Champion Two-Year-Old in Canada last year. While the surfaces are different between Woodbine and Santa Anita, I really don't think Mine That Bird will be put off any by the fake stuff in Southern California. He worked this morning over the Santa Anita racetrack, covering five furlongs in 1:00.20 under jockey Joe Talamo. Talamo will not have the ride on Mine That Bird Saturday, that honor returns to Derby-winning pilot, Calvin Borel. Let's hope that Mine That Bird comes through on Saturday since it would return him to his proper place of prominence going into the Breeders' Cup World Championships in a month. Although, the handicapper in me says maybe it would be best if he gets ignored again going into the big race, maybe the price will be right, as it was on that First Saturday in May.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!