06/14/2010 11:00PM

Mine That Bird works in company


Mine That Bird had his fourth workout, and his first in company, for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas when he breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.60 seconds over a fast track shortly after the regularly scheduled renovation break Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Calvin Borel, who guided the gelding to victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, once again was aboard Mine That Bird, who spotted stablemate Bird Empire about two lengths when breaking off down the backstretch. Near the quarter pole, Mine That Bird pulled abreast of his stablemate while remaining closest to the rail, finally forging ahead by about a length at the wire.

The splits for Mine That Bird were 24.20, 35.80, and 47.60 seconds, with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:13.40, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols. The clocking was the fastest of 25 at the distance for the day.

Lukas is pointing Mine That Bird to the Aug. 7 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, with a possible prep coming in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill on July 3.

Mine That Bird has not raced since finishing ninth in the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Classic, when he was still trained by Chip Woolley. After nearly two months of light training in New Mexico following a lengthy respite, the gelding was sent by van by owners Mark Allen and Leonard Blach and into Lukas's care at Churchill on May 20. Mine That Bird posted previous works on May 26, June 2, and June 8.

Bird Empire is a 3-year-old colt who most recently finished a close second on the Churchill turf in an April 30 maiden special-weight race, his fifth career start.