12/17/2010 4:10PM

Mine That Bird adjusting to life in retirement

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Barbara D. Livingston
A movie about Mine That Bird is scheduled to begin shooting next spring in New Mexico.

Mine That Bird has spent the past three weeks making the transition from racehorse to retiree at his new home, Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, N.M.

“We’re still hand walking him to let him down,” said Leonard Blach, who co-owns the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner with Mark Allen. “He’s really relaxing and really settled in.

“He’s had quite a few visitors.”

Mine That Bird arrived from Churchill Downs on Nov. 30. He was retired following his 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 6. Mine That Bird won 5 of 18 starts and $2,228,637, and while he is a still a young gelding, there are no plans for him to resume racing, Blach said.

“That’s it,” he said. “We decided on retirement. He’s got a portfolio that will take good care of him the rest of his life.”

Blach said a movie about Mine That Bird is in the works, with shooting scheduled to begin next spring in New Mexico.

“They’re going to use Mine That Bird in whatever scenes they can,” he said.

Mine that Bird was famously hauled from New Mexico to run in the Kentucky Derby and won the race by more than six lengths at 50-1. A fiberglass statue of him that was in the Kentucky Derby Museum for the year following his win is now on display at Sunland Park.

“We donated it to Sunland,” Blach said of the life-size piece. “They’ve done a lot for us.”

Mine That Bird’s final start before the Kentucky Derby came at Sunland. He was fourth in the track’s derby that has since received graded status. Mine That Bird is a 4-year-old by Birdstone.