Bird Ships to Pimlico
May 13, 2009 (From Churchill Downs)
A few minutes after 9 a.m. EDT on May 12, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena
Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn
area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
With trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley behind the wheel of the Ford F-450
Lariat and exercise rider Charlie Figueroa riding shotgun, the
Kentucky Derby-winning team left Barn 42 with Mine That Bird
comfortably ensconced in the trailer behind the truck.
“I think he is ready,” Woolley said. “If we make the trip up there
good and he eats good, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Woolley arrived pulling the trailer at 6 a.m. and began the process of
loading everything for the 10-hour trip to Pimlico. Mine That Bird,
who had worked a half-mile in :49.20 the day before, walked the
shedrow for 20 minutes and grazed behind the barn for another 15
minutes before returning to his stall to load on the trailer.
“I have about 115 gallons and hauling the trailer I get about 8 1/2
miles a gallon,” Woolley said. “This will be like our first day coming
here when we went from El Paso on Lone Star Park. We won’t need to
stop for gas. When we stop to eat, I’ll open the top of the window and
let him look out and take things in. He’s a good shipper. Nothing
Before Mine That Bird walked into the trailer, Bob Baffert, astride
his stable pony Leo, rode up from Barn 33 where his Kentucky Derby
runner-up Pioneerof the Nile is housed.
“I just want to see how this is done,” Baffert said with a laugh.
The two trainers shook hands, wished each other luck and then it was time to go.
In other Preakness (gr. I) news, trainer Al Stall Jr. said Jeremy Rose
would have the mount on Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain.
“He has won the race (on Afleet Alex in 2005) and he knows the track
there,” Stall said of Rose.
Julien Leparoux had ridden Terrain in his first two starts of 2009,
but has the call on General Quarters in the Preakness. Terrain, with
exercise rider Jimmy Valdez up, jogged in the mile chute alongside a
pony for about five minutes and then galloped once around the main
track before the renovation break.
Stall said Terrain is scheduled to be on a 1:30 p.m. flight to Baltimore.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra was on the track at 6:20
a.m., going once around with exercise rider Dominic Terry up. Rachel
Alexandra had worked a half-mile in :48.40 on May 10.
Pioneerof the Nile walked the shedrow a day after working a half-mile
in :47.60. Baffert said Pioneerof the Nile would go to the track the
morning of May 13 and then leave for Baltimore on a 1:30 p.m. flight.
Getting a jump on the migration east to Baltimore was owner/trainer
Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters as well as five horses trained by D.
Wayne Lukas, including Preakness hopefuls Flying Private and Luv Gov.
All were gone before the track opened for training at 6 a.m.