04/30/2012 11:23AM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Woolley rooting for Take Charge Indy, but picking Bodemeister

Benoit & Associates
Chip Woolley, who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird, is back in Louisville pulling for jockey Calvin Borel and trainer Pat Byrne with their horse Take Charge Indy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Chip Woolley has a rooting interest in the Kentucky Derby this year in Take Change Indy, with Calvin Borel riding for trainer Pat Byrne, but that’s not his pick. Woolley, who gave Borel a leg up when Mine That Bird upset the Derby at 50-1 in 2009, arrived here Sunday from New Mexico to “relax and enjoy” all the festivities of Derby week.

“I’m picking Bodemeister, Union Rags, and Dullahan,” said Woolley, who befriended Byrne when stabled alongside him in 2009. “I’m hoping I’m wrong, because I love Calvin and Pat, but I’m thinking it might not set up for them. Calvin’s a great rider and will make all the right decisions, but I don’t know, this is a tough Derby.”

Woolley said he still occasionally sees Mine That Bird, who was retired in 2010 at 4, at the Double Eagle Ranch of owner Mark Allen.
Dullahan, by the way, was produced by the mare Mining My Own, which makes him a half-brother to Mine That Bird. Dullahan, trained by Dale Romans, was sired by Even the Score, while Mine That Bird is by Birdstone.

Woolley has returned to the Derby every year since his monumental victory, even when not bringing any of his horses. He has some favorite local haunts, most notably Kern’s Korner on Bardstown Road, and said he returns to Louisville to enjoy reunions with fans and fellow horsemen during morning training hours and while attending the races.