Mine That Bird

Mine That Bird
Mine That Bird, Santa Anita Park, October, 2008.jpg
Mine That Bird at Santa Anita Park in Oct, 2008
Sire Birdstone
Grandsire Grindstone
Dam Mining My Own
Damsire Smart Strike
Sex Gelding
Foaled May 10, 2006
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Lamantia Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds
Owner 1) Dominion Bloodstock, D. Ball and HGHR Inc.
2) Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine
Trainer 1) David Cotey
2) Richard Mandella
3) Bennie L. "Chip" Woolley, Jr.
4) D. Wayne Lukas
Record 18: 5-2-1
Earnings $2,011,581
Major wins

Silver Deputy Stakes (2008)
Swynford Stakes (2008)
Grey Stakes (2008)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (2009)
Preakness Stakes 2nd (2009)
Canadian Champion 2-yr-old Male Horse (2008)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on May 22, 2010

Mine That Bird (foaled May 10, 2006 in Kentucky) is a retired American racehorse. He is best known for being one of only nine geldings to win the Kentucky Derby, and the second gelding to win the race since 1929. As of November 06, 2010, Mine That Bird had retired from racing after being winless in nine starts ever since the Kentucky Derby.



Mine That Bird's sire is Birdstone (winner of the 2004 Belmont Stakes), and his dam is Mining My Own. [1]According to his pedigree,he is related to Northern Dancer from both of his parents and is related to Native Dancer and Mr.Prospector on his dam's side.

Age Two Racing Career

Canadian trainer David Cotey purchased Mine That Bird for $9,500 from the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale. He and his partners raced the gelding at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, where he won four of six starts and was voted the 2008 Canadian Champion 2-yr-old Male Horse. Cotey believed in the horse so much that he nominated him for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby. Chantal Sutherland rode him to victory in the Silver Deputy Stakes and the Swynford Stakes. After she and the horse won the Grey Stakes on October 11, 2008, the partnership accepted a $400,000 offer from the New Mexico partnership of Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine. His new owners turned the gelding over to U.S. Racing Hall of Fame trainer, Richard Mandella. In the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Mine That Bird finished last of the twelve starters.[citation needed]

Racing at Age Three

Racing in the United States at age three for new trainer Chip Woolley, in his 2009 debut on February 28, Mine That Bird finished second in the Borderland Derby, and on March 29 had a fourth-place finish in the Sunland Derby. Based on his career earnings in graded stakes races, he qualified as one of the twenty Kentucky Derby starters. Woolley, who had a broken foot at the time and was in a cast, loaded Mine That Bird into a horse trailer attached to his pickup truck, and drove 1,700 miles over 21 hours from New Mexico to get to the big race.[2]

Racing career

2009 Kentucky Derby


Following overnight rain, the Churchill Downs natural dirt track was rated as sloppy for the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Ridden by Calvin Borel, Mine That Bird had trouble out of the starting gate and was left about eight lengths behind the rest of the field. By the time the pack of horses was running down the backstretch, Mine That Bird was so far back that NBC's announcer Tom Durkin at first missed seeing him.[5]

Calvin Borel, using the ground-saving, rail-skimming riding technique that won him the 2007 Derby with Street Sense, charged past horses along the backstretch and at the turn for home had moved into contention. Borel kept Mine That Bird on the rail, leaving it just once to go around a tiring horse before ducking back in, where he exploded past Pioneerof the Nile so fast on the inside that NBC's Tom Durkin, who was focused on other horses vying for the lead,[5] did not see him come through until he was three lengths in the lead. Mine That Bird pulled away to win by 6 lengths.

A two dollar win wager returned $103.20, making Mine That Bird the second biggest upset in Kentucky Derby history, behind 91-1 longshot Donerail in 1913.[6] Mine That Bird had the third longest odds in the 19-horse field, with only Atomic Rain (55-1) and Join in the Dance (51-1) being higher.[7]

2009 Preakness Stakes

The day after his Derby win, Mine That Bird's connections were uncertain if they would come back two weeks later and try for the Preakness Stakes. They planned to wait and assess the horse's condition first.[8]

Co-owner Mark Allen said, "The plan was that if he showed something here, to skip the Preakness and go to the Belmont, like his dad." His sire Birdstone won the Belmont Stakes in 2004, suggesting that Mine That Bird's breeding is for longer distances. Trainer Bennie Wooley was concerned that the Preakness tends to have a quick pace that might not benefit his horse as much as the Belmont.

It was announced on May 4, 2009, on ESPN that Mine That Bird would run in the Preakness. [9]

Borel opted to ride Rachel Alexandra, his regular mount, in the Preakness. Rachel Alexandra, who had won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 lengths with Borel aboard, was the favorite. Mine That Bird was given to Mike Smith to ride, and the gelding ended up in second place, a length behind Rachel Alexandra. As with the Derby, Mine That Bird came from far back in the field on the final turn, and was closing rapidly on Rachel Alexandra, but the finish line came before he could catch the filly.

2009 Belmont Stakes

Mine That Bird ran in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, 2009, where he was once again ridden by Calvin Borel. After starting last, he began moving up along the backside. After taking the lead at the top of the stretch, he battled with Dunkirk and Charitable Man down the lane but was ultimately beaten by Summer Bird and Dunkirk to finish third.

West Virginia Derby

Mine That Bird returned to racing with a third in the West Virginia Derby on August 1.

Breeders Cup Classic

Mine that Bird finished in 9th place in the 2009 Classic.

New Mexico Horse of the Year

On February 11, 2010, Mine That Bird was unanimously voted New Mexico Horse of the Year for 2009 by the New Mexico State House of Representatives. The bill was introduced by state representative Candy Spence Ezzell, who explained that “Dr. Leonard Blach and Mark Allen [Mine That Bird's owners] have brought New Mexico positive worldwide recognition.” Dr. Blach, who was present for the proceedings, received a standing ovation from House members.[10]

On May 19, 2010, Mine That Bird was transferred to Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas [11]


Pedigree of Mine That Bird
Grindstone Unbridled Fappiano
Gana Facil
Buzz My Bell Drone
Dear Birdie Storm Bird Northern Dancer
South Ocean
Hush Dear Silent Screen
You All
Mining My Own
Smart Strike Mr. Prospector Raise A Native
Gold Digger
Classy 'n Smart Smarten
No Class
Aspenelle Vice Regent Northern Dancer
Victoria Regina
Little to Do Dynastic
Tribal to Do

Pop Culture References

The Tonight Show

On the second to last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which aired on January 21, 2010, host Conan O'Brien claimed that The Tonight Show had purchased Mine That Bird for a comedy bit at the expense of NBC. A chestnut horse, which O'Brien introduced as Mine That Bird, was brought out in a (supposedly) mink Snuggie and watched what O'Brien stated to be "restricted footage of NFL Super Bowl highlights". O'Brien stated the cost of the bit was $4.8 million.[12]

Lil Wayne makes a reference to the horse in the "Always Strapped" Official Remix (Part 2).


  1. ^ "Mine That Bird" (PDF). Equineline. http://www.ntra.com/content/MineThatBird.pdf. Retrieved May 2, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ Moran, Paul (2009-05-05). "Mine That Bird won, so now what?". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown09/columns/story?columnist=moran_paul&id=4131729. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  3. ^ Drape, Joe (May 2, 2009). "Mine That Bird Uses Shortest Route to Win Derby". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/sports/othersports/03derby.html?ref=global-home. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  4. ^ Blount, Rachel (May 2, 2009). "Bird is the word at the Derby". Minnesota Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/sports/44235437.html?elr=KArks:DCiU1OiP:DiiUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  5. ^ a b Hiestand, Michael (2009-05-03). "Kentucky Derby caller fails to keep his eye on longshot Bird". Usatoday.Com. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2009-05-03-kentucky-derby_N.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  6. ^ "Long-odds win in Kentucky Derby". BBC Sports. May 2, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/8031362.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  7. ^ Liebman, Dan (May 3, 2009). "Borel, Mine That Bird Soar in Derby Shocker". The Blood-Horse. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/50588/borel-mine-that-bird-soar-in-derby-shocker. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  8. ^ Privman, Jay (May 3, 2009). "Mine That Bird not certain for Preakness". Daily Racing Form and NTRA.com. http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=news&id=39257. Retrieved 2009-05-04. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Mine That Bird to run in Preakness". Associated Press. ESPN.com. May 4, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown09/news/story?id=4135633. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  10. ^ Blood-Horse.com Staff (Feb. 12, 2010). "NM House Honors Mine That Bird". Blood-Horse.com. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/55339/nm-house-honors-mine-that-bird. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  11. ^ ESPN - May 20, 2010
  12. ^ New York Magazine, "Last Night on Late Night: Conan Finds New Ways to Waste NBC's Money"

Further reading

External links

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