In the Pimlico stakes barn stall reserved for winners of the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird waits for his early-morning gallop two days before the 2009 Preakness Stakes.
Trainer Chip Woolley waits nearby.
Left and above: Charlie Figueroa takes Mine That Bird to the Pimlico track for his morning exercise.
Chip Woolley, on crutches while his broken leg mends, watches his horse gallop.
Mine That Bird (here with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa on May 14th) beat eleven other horses and placed second by a length to the filly Rachel Alexandra in the May 16th Preakness Stakes. He was ridden by Mike Smith because his Derby jockey, Calvin Borel, had the ride on Rachel Alexandra.
With Chip Woolley at the wheel and Double Eagle Ranch manager Kelly Dennington standing at the back, members of Mine That Birdís team return to the barn.
Kelly Dennington holds Mine That Bird for a post-gallop bath.
Charlie Figueroa throws a blanket over Mine That Bird after bathing him.
The New Mexico-based gelding won the 2009 Kentucky Derby as a 50-1 long shot. His performance two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes gained him additional respect and made him the favorite to win the June 6th Belmont Stakes.
Reunited with his Kentucky Derby jockey, Calvin Borel, Mine That Bird joins the post parade for the Belmont Stakes.
Having won both the Derby and the Preakness in 2009, on two different horses, Borel had a chance going into the Belmont of winning all three legs of the Triple Crown, even though Mine That Bird did not.

Mine That Bird (left), with Calvin Borel, and Dunkirk, with John Velazquez, fight for second place behind Summer Bird in the 141st Belmont Stakes. Mine That Bird finished third. Both he and Summer Bird are sons of 2004 Belmont winner Birdstone.
On August 30, the day after the 2009 Travers Stakes, Mine That Bird and exercise rider George Smith walk through the paddock on their way to a morning gallop at Saratoga Race Course. Minor throat surgery ten days earlier had caused the gelding to miss the big race.
Mine That Bird jogged, bucked a bit, and galloped two miles at Saratoga on the morning of August 30th. Two days later he was back in New Mexico, where on Labor Day he led the post parade for the All American Futurity, a race for two-year-old quarter horses, at Ruidoso Downs. A record crowd of more than 23,000 came to the track that day and Mine That Bird was given a hometown hero's welcome.
previous horse main page galleries list thoroughbred albums next horse