11/08/2009 12:00AM

Dirt the plan for Mine That Bird

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will be campaigned on dirt racetracks, primarily in the East, in 2010, trainer Chip Woolley said on Sunday.

Mine That Bird finished ninth in Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita over a synthetic track. The BC Classic was Mine That Bird's third loss on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface, preceded by a 12th in the 2008 BC Juvenile and a sixth in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes last month.

"We'll stick to the dirt," Woolley said. "It doesn't seem like he likes [the Santa Anita track] very well. I'm not blaming the racetrack. He doesn't have the same move."

Mine That Bird was last of 12 after a mile of the BC Classic and finished 10 3/4 lengths behind Zenyatta. Mine That Bird is winless in five starts since his 50-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby, and his two worst performances in that span were at Santa Anita. During the spring and summer, he finished a troubled second to Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, and third in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park and West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. Those races were on dirt tracks.

Woolley said it was unclear when Mine That Bird would return to racing next year.

"We'll take him home and give him a break," Woolley said "He's had a long hard year and it might have showed up yesterday."

Mine That Bird will be based in Roswell, N.M., during the winter.

Forever Together likely done racing

Forever Together has probably run the final race of her career.

The champion turf female of 2008, she is expected to be retired this fall, and will be bred in 2010, trainer Jonathan Sheppard said.

"She is 90 percent certain to be retired," he said.

Forever Together finished third in Friday's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, a race she won here in 2008. Her career record stands at 9 wins in 20 starts and earnings of $2,802,269. This year, her campaign was highlighted by wins in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland and Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga.

Sheppard gained a potential replacement on Sunday.

Rainbow View, the two-time European Group 1 winner who was fifth in Friday's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in her first start on a synthetic track, was transferred from trainer John Gosden to Sheppard. Owned by George Strawbridge, who also owns Forever Together, Rainbow View has won 5 of 12 starts and $790,305.

Sheppard said that Rainbow View will be sent to his Pennsylvania farm and will be pointed for a 2010 campaign.

"She's only 3, and we've got time," he said. "We'll turn her out and get ready to do it again. We hope to have her ready for Keeneland."

For Gosden, Rainbow View won the Group 1 Fillies Mile in England in 2008 and the Group 1 Matron Stakes in Ireland in September.

"My idea is to keep her on the turf," Sheppard said.

Muhannak staying in California

Muhannak, the winner of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Marathon who finished fifth in this year's running on Friday, will stay in California with Ben Cecil, the trainer said on Sunday.

Muhannak will be pointed to the distance races on turf during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which begins in late December.

In the BC Marathon, Muhannak finished 14 3/4 lengths behind race winner Man of Iron in his final start for trainer Ralph Beckett.

"I think they were a little disappointed, but they knew it was a tougher race than last year," Cecil said.

Owned by Richard Pegum, Muhannak has won 7 of 23 starts and $437,371. He is winless in eight starts since the 2008 BC Marathon, although Cecil said a fifth-place finish in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Sept. 27 left him encouraged.

"He ran well in the Cumberland Lodge," he said.

Muhannak joins a California turf marathon division that Cecil described as "not the strongest division."

The Cecil-trained Ferneley, who finished seventh in the BC Mile, will be pointed for the Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 14. Earlier this year, Ferneley won the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile and was second in the Woodbine Mile.

Cecil thought Santa Anita's turf course was harder than Ferneley would have preferred.

"After he got beat, I was a bit depressed, and then I watched the Classic," Cecil said of Zenyatta's win. "That was one of the greatest moments I've seen."