Horses head to the starting gate for the 2009 Belmont Stakes on June 6th. Among them are Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird (left) and Summer Bird (right), both sons of 2004 Belmont winner Birdstone.
Summer Bird, with Kent Desormeaux, wins the Belmont Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths. Dunkirk was second, followed by Mine That Bird.
Summer Bird enters the Belmont winner's circle wearing the traditional blanket of white carnations.
August 29, 2009: Summer Bird, again ridden by Kent Desormeaux, wins the 140th running of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Five years earlier, his sire, Birdstone, also won the Travers.
Summer Bird finishes the Travers three and a half lengths ahead of Hold Me Back. Quality Road was third.
The blinkers come off before Summer Bird heads to the Saratoga winner's circle.
The Travers gave Summer Bird, who did not race as a two-year-old, his third win in seven starts. A victory in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup followed in October. The colt was named Champion Three-year-old Male for 2009.

Summer Bird's final competition at three was supposed to be the Japan Cup Dirt, but he was injured while training for it in Japan and was withdrawn from the race. Complications from the injury prevented him from racing at four, and he was retired to stud at Paul's Mill Farm in Kentucky.
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