07/20/2009 12:00AM

Mine That Bird has final breeze before shipping


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird had his final workout before departing for the West Virginia Derby when he breezed a half-mile Monday over a fast track at Churchill Downs in 48.20 seconds on another cool, sunny morning.

Going shortly after the renovation break at about 8:45 a.m. Eastern, and with jockey Jamie Theriot aboard, Mine That Bird went in fractions of 12.40 seconds, 24.80, and 36.80, with a five-furlong gallop-out time of 1:01.20.

The workout was the fourth at Churchill for Mine That Bird since he finished third as the favorite in the June 6 Belmont Stakes. The gelding will make his next start in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 1 at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va.

Trainer Chip Woolley watched the Monday work from his customary vantage point, a backstretch viewing stand near the 6 1/2-furlong pole. Theriot said afterward he told Woolley that Mine That Bird is "going into the race fantastic. I don't think he can be better than he is right now. I just let him do his thing."

Woolley told Churchill officials he intends to van Mine That Bird himself to Mountaineer on Friday, with a scheduled departure time of about 7 a.m. Woolley has said he intends to work the gelding once over the Mountaineer surface.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Mine That Bird in the West Virginia Derby and in the $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes on Aug. 29 at Saratoga.

Mine That Bird won the 135th Kentucky Derby on May 2 before running second in the May 16 Preakness and third in the Belmont. Calvin Borel rode him in the Derby and Belmont.