Derby result was no
surprise to some Southwest
Monday, May 11, 2009
Mine That Bird’s improbable
victory in the Kentucky Derby
Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at
50.60-to-1 odds provided a major
payday for some bettors in the
Birdstone gelding’s adopted home
state of New Mexico.
Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr.
is based in New Mexico, and Mine
That Bird raced twice at Sunland
Park in New Mexico this year.
Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs
reported paying out considerably
more money than they took in on
Derby day thanks to wagers placed on
Mine That Bird.
“We paid out over $180,000 more
than we put into the pools, so that
gives you an idea that the locals
did have some money on the winner,”
said Heath Battles, director of
marketing for Sunland.
Battles said Sunland paid out 102
winning $2 exactas on the Derby,
which paid $2,074.80 each. Sunland
also had three bettors hit the $2
trifecta for $41,500.60 each,
At Ruidoso Downs, Director of
Mutuels Deano McTeigue, said a local
couple from Roswell, New Mexico, bet
$700 to win and $100 to place and
show on Mine That Bird.
“They were a couple of young kids
and they had worked for [Mine That
Bird’s co-owner] Mark Allen. They
thought [Mine That Bird] had a
shot,” McTeigue said. “I paid them
out about $40,000.”
McTeigue said Churchill Downs,
the host track for the Derby signal,
owed Ruidoso $145,000 on the day.
“We have a little casino here, so
we had plenty of money here, and
some people took checks,” McTeigue
said. “We paid out most of them, but
there were still outstanding tickets
of about $60,000 at the end of the
“When a horse pays $100 to win,
it encourages people to come out.
The local media has really jumped on
the bandwagon now, and I think
there’s a lot of advertisement right
now for Saturday’s race. I know I’m
interested to see how [Mine That
Bird] will run.”
Pete Denk is sales editor for