Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, working in company with Bird Empire, drilled five furlongs in :59.60 over a fast track Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs.
With jockey Calvin Borel up, Mine That Bird started off two lengths behind Bird Empire and tracked his workmate for three furlongs. Mine That Bird drew alongside Bird Empire at the quarter pole and quickly surged by and finished a length and a half in front.
Churchill Downs clockers caught Mine That Bird in fractions of :24.20, :35.80, :47.60 and out six furlongs in 1:13.40. It was the fastest of 25 works at the distance and the only drill in less than a minute. Bird Empire was timed in 1:00.20.
It was the fourth recorded work for Mine That Bird since arriving in the barn of trainer D. Wayne Lukas on May 20. Mine That Bird worked three furlongs in :35.20 under Dominic Terry on May 26, half-mile in :48 on June 2 under Borel and five furlongs in 1:02 last Tuesday.
“He did what he was supposed to do and went by the other horse easily,” said Borel, who rode Mine That Bird to his Kentucky Derby victory. “It was a nice work.”
Lukas liked what he saw in Mine That Bird’s first work in company since joining his barn.
“I couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Lukas said. “It was picture perfect and Calvin is such a good judge of pace. I wanted to let him stride out today and he leaped on that horse at the quarter pole.”
Mine That Bird worked immediately after the morning renovation break at 8:30 with temperatures already pushing 80 in humid conditions.
“All the horses coming off the track this morning were sweating, but not him,” Lukas said. “He didn’t take a deep breath and he doesn’t sweat after going a mile and five-eighths, a mile and three-quarters in the morning.”
After nearly four weeks in the Lukas barn after returning to the track from the Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, N.M., Mine That Bird earned a top grade from Lukas.
"I'’d give him an ‘A.’ I couldn’t be happier with him,” Lukas said. “He has done what I like him to do.”
Lukas’ initial objective for Mine That Bird is the Whitney Handicap (GI) at Saratoga on Aug. 7. Should Mine That Bird get a return race prior to that at Churchill Downs before the meet ends July 4, he would become the first Kentucky Derby winner to race beneath the Twin Spires since 2005 winner Giacomo finished fourth in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
WORK TAB – Donegal Racing’s Paddy O’Prado, third in the Kentucky Derby last month, worked a half-mile in :48.60, fifth fastest of 26 at the distance, in preparation for Saturday’s $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (GII) at 1 3/16 miles at Colonial Downs.