09/21/2009 1:00PM

Bird Watch


Bird at work

This just in from trainer Chip Woolley:  Mine That Bird will work today (Monday) at around 3 p.m. (MDT), at the Downs at Albuquerque, located on the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. (Mine That Bird will share the card with nine races for a mixture of Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.)

Woolley says Mine That Bird will walk Tuesday, gallop Wednesday and Thursday, then buckle up for the van ride to California Thursday afternoon. "I'd like to get to Santa Anita around 2 a.m. Friday morning," Woolley said. "That way we'll beat the traffic."

Good man. He's already thinking like a Los Angeleno. Mine That Bird's arrival will put him in town eight days and one work before his scheduled start in the $350,000 Goodwood Handicap, Saturday, Oct. 10. The Oak Tree meet opens Sept. 30.

(Mine That Bird and Charlie Figueroa at Ruidoso)


THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 6 p.m. (PDT) -- Chip Woolley, Charlie Figueroa and Mine That Bird hit the road at around 2 p.m. (MDT), leaving Albuquerque and heading west on I-40. For those who have never driven the modern bypass of Old Route 66, you wing past towns like Grants, Prewitt and Manuelito on the New Mexico side, and then Holbrook, Joseph City and Winslow through eastern Arizona--all towns that used to be pit stops along the Mother Road. When I reached Woolley a little past 6 p.m., California time, he was bearing down on Flagstaff, driving his Ford F-450, pulling Bird in his Turnbow trailer, dead into the setting sun. Unsuspecting citizens of Arizona's third largest town would have been shocked--shocked!--to find out that the Kentucky Derby was briefly in their midst.

"It's real nice, real pretty around here," Woolley said. "Bird's been fine. No problems. Making okay time."

I asked Woolley when he was going to get spelled behind the wheel.

"Nobody drives but me," he said.

Cass Chappell More than 1 year ago
eeebayou, There are several discrepancies in the show. At first, as a die hard racing fan, it irritated me. But the more I thought about it, the less aggravated I was. It is a TV show that is playing to an audience of casual (or non) racing fans. Several friends of mine, who are NOT racing fans but know I am, have been watching the show. They ask questions of me all the time now. The show has gotten them interested in the game. THATS A WIN-WIN-WIN. The industry wins. They win, by becoming involved in a great sport. And (HOPEFULLY), I win by having more "dead" money in the parimutuel pools. hehehehe I know its been said a million times...but publicity like "Jockey's" is MANDATORY for this sport to revive itself....whether or not it is technically accurate.
C More than 1 year ago
Michael M, A short head? Really?
togoonthego More than 1 year ago
A completely different subject, though work tab-related (but thematically closer to the "Golden Oldie" post)... Jay, LAVA MAN (!) is listed as having worked three panels this morning at HollyPark. Rather sharply, too...36 flat. Thanks in advance for any info you may have!
Jay H More than 1 year ago
eeebayou -- Aw now, be kind. Reality is hard. That Solis thing was just a dream sequence, wasn't it?
Michael M More than 1 year ago
Nick; MTB won the Kentucky Derby. He WON the KENTUCKY DERBY. THAT'S the "big deal" - and well deserved. (He also came within a short head of winning the Preakness...but I digress) Your observations are corrrect, however; Summer Bird has surpassed MTB's accomplishments. And Rachel has far surpassed EVERY other horse. So there's that... But MTB is still news. And I believe he's got another good one in him. Let's see how he handles the Goodwood... MM
eeebayou More than 1 year ago
Speaking of last year's Derby, it is amazing how the TV show "Jockeys" is recreating Derby Trail history. On the latest episode, the show had Alex Solis WATCHING the Santa Anita Derby from the jock's room. Funny, although Alex's original mount scratched from the race, he RODE Take the Points to a 4th place finish!! If Alex can be in two places at once, he deserves immediate placement in the Hall of Fame. And if Alex has those kind of talents, how did he get beat on Captain Bodgit!!
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
What is the big deal about Mine That Bird. He won the Derby on an off track at a gazillion to one. He's done nothing since and has been far surpassed by Summer Bird and Rachel Alexandra in the three year old division. He's a very beatable, one run horse. Move on....