09/01/2009 11:00PM

Mine That Bird lands at Ruidoso

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Ty Wyant
Groom Omar Arreola leads Mine That Bird to trainer Chip Wooley's barn at Ruidoso as Wooley watches in the background.

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird arrived at trainer Chip Woolley's stable at Ruidoso Downs on Wednesday afternoon. It is the first time he has been back to his New Mexico base since April, when he traveled to Churchill Downs. Mine That Bird is in town to lead the post parade for the Grade 1, $2 million All-American Futurity for Quarter Horses on Monday.

While here, he will train toward his next start, the Grade 1, $350,000 Goodwood at Santa Anita on Oct. 10. The race is a prep for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

"I like the idea of training at altitude," Woolley said in a release issued by Ruidoso. "He'll be galloping every day."

Ruidoso is located in the mountains of Lincoln National Forest in south central New Mexico. Mine That Bird had been at Saratoga last month to prepare for the Travers, but he was forced to miss the race after undergoing surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis.

Mine That Bird's trip home to New Mexico was a two-tiered journey. He was vanned from Saratoga to Newark, N.J., then took a 4 1/2-hour flight to El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday. Mine That Bird stayed overnight at a training center outside of nearby Sunland Park, then was vanned Wednesday to Ruidoso.

"Everything went really well," said Woolley. "It was smooth."

Woolley will seek his second major derby of the year on Sunday, when he sends out Louisianafeature One in the Grade 1, $624,784 All-American Quarter Horse Derby at Ruidoso.