08/21/2009 12:00AM

Mine That Bird recovers quickly

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Mine That Bird was back at the track Friday, able to resume training with Chip Woolley, just three days after undergoing minor throat surgery.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Mine That Bird remained on target for a start in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 29 after an endoscopic examination Friday morning revealed his throat was clear and he was able to return to the track for training.

Following an endoscopic examination performed by Dr. James Hunt, Mine That Bird jogged two miles over Saratoga's main track under exercise rider George Smith. It was his first day of training since he underwent throat surgery on Tuesday morning to repair an entrapped epiglottis. The entrapment was diagnosed after Mine That Bird worked five furlongs in 1:03.83 Monday at Saratoga.

After the training session, Chip Woolley, the trainer of Mine That Bird, said he believes his horse is "on track'' to make the Travers.

"In Doc's words he was perfect," Woolley said. "There's not any inflammation around the epiglottis. Everything looks smooth, laid out flat, looks real pretty. In his words, he looked perfect. We tracked him, he bucked and played all the way around there. It looked like he was happy and felt good. Coming off the track, he was bouncing and playing. I would say we're on track right now. We don't have any excuses. The horse looks really good.''

Woolley planned to gallop Mine That Bird through Monday and then work him a half-mile on Tuesday. He will scope the horse again between now and Tuesday,

"We'll scope him again in a couple of days, make sure we haven't irritated something in there,'' Woolley said. "Right now he looks as good as you could ever ask him to look.''

Woolley said he is not concerned by missing two days of training.

"He's dead fit,'' Woolley said. "Fortunately, we found it following a work, not going into a work where we missed a work. I don't have any worries about missing a day or two of training; you miss that many days of training to a muddy track. The main thing was getting him back on track today, and tracking him going into his work on Tuesday.''

McLaughlin prepares for Rachel

Thus far, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has been able to avoid facing the superstar filly Rachel Alexandra. That is likely about to change.

On Friday, McLaughlin worked horses for the Travers and the Woodward, one of which figures to be the next start for Rachel Alexandra.

"I'm not in the Personal Ensign, maybe she'd like to go there,'' McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin plans to run Charitable Man in the Travers, and on Friday he worked four furlongs in 47.45 seconds, the fastest of 24 at the distance. Jockey Ramon Dominguez was up for the work, the first time he has been aboard the Peter Pan winner. Dominguez will ride Charitable Man in a race for the first time in the Travers as Alan Garcia will now ride Our Edge for Nick Zito.

"If you asked me after the breeze I would have never guessed he went that fast,'' Dominguez said. "He was very much within himself.''

"We don't use riders that much in the mornings,'' McLaughlin said. "Just because it's an important race we wanted him to sit on him.''

Asiatic Boy, runner-up in the Suburban last out, worked four furlongs 48.25 seconds Friday morning in preparation for a start in the Woodward on Sept. 5. It was his first work since he was forced to scratch out of the Whitney on Aug 8 due to a temperature.

"He's doing great, he's pretty fit, we don't think he missed anything,'' McLaughlin said.

Zito may run two in Woodward

Nick Zito is another trainer who will take on Rachel Alexandra in either the Travers or Woodward. Friday, Zito sent out his top Woodward hopeful, Cool Coal Man, for a half-mile breeze in 49.03 seconds over the Oklahoma training track. It was Cool Coal Man's first work since he won the Albert the Great Stakes by 12 3/4 lengths here on Aug. 10. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.64 and earned a career-best 107 Beyer Speed Figure.

"We'll try the big boys or the big girls,'' Zito said. "He's coming off a good race. It'd be fun to run against Rachel if she runs. She's a marquee horse.''

Zito said he is also considering running 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara in the Woodward. Da' Tara worked four furlongs in 50.05 seconds Thursday, his first breeze since being eased in the Albert the Great. Zito said Da' Tara did not come out of the race with any physical issues.

"We'll see how he breezes next week,'' Zito said.

Stakes winner Jardin returns

Trainer Tom Albertrani hopes to have won a race by Sunday, but if not he looks live in two allowance races as well as the $100,000 Yaddo Stakes on the 10-race card. Albertrani entered Friday's card 0 for 18 at the meet.

In Sunday's third race, a second-level allowance race at seven furlongs, Albertrani sends out 2008 Schuylerville winner Jardin, who makes her first start since finishing second in the Grade 1 Spinaway here last Aug. 31. She was trained by Steve Asmussen last year, but was transferred to Albertrani a few months ago.

"She's been training aggressively. She appears to be on her game,'' Albertrani said. "Hopefully, this is just a prep race to get her going again and we can look for something more important.''

In the fourth, Albertrani will send out Ea in a second-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles. Ea has competed in three consecutive stakes, including a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap on June 5.

"It's Saratoga, you want to put them where they can win and take advantage of the two-other-than, and hopefully, there again, we can look for something at the Belmont fall meet,'' Albertrani said.

In the Yaddo, Albertrani saddles Love Cove, who is seeking to break a three-race losing streak. Love Cove ended her 4-year-old season with victories in the Ticonderoga at Belmont and Shopping for Love at Aqueduct.

"She hasn't come back to the Ticonderoga,'' Albertrani said. "Stretching her out a little more might even help her. If she's on an easy lead we'll be happy to see her there as well.''