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Mine That Bird Wins US Gr1 Kentucky Derby

Monday, 4th May 2009

In the US, last season's Canadian Champion juvenile but this year's unheralded 3YO gelding Mine That Bird (Birdstone-Mining My Own, by Mining) caused one of the greatest upsets in American racing history when he started at 50-1 (2nd longest price in the 19-horse field) & paid $103.20 on the tote (the 2nd longest price in Derby history) by shocking 153,563 fans as he blitzed his rivals by 6.75-lengths (the largest winning margin since 1946) in the US$2 million Gr1 Kentucky Derby (10 furlongs) for 3YOs on a rain-affected track at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Despite being squeezed at the start & at one point travelling last in running, Mine That Bird (ridden by Calvin Borel for trainer Bennie Woolley) exploded along the fence in the straight to race away from the colts Pioneerof The Nile (Empire Maker-Star Of Goshen, by Lord At War) & Musket Man (Yonaguska-Fortuesque, by Fortunate Prospect). Mine That Bird (scratched from the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale & then sold for just US$9,500 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale) is from the 1st crop of Gainesway stallion Birdstone (Grindstone-Dear Birdie, by Storm Bird) who is standing in 2009 for just US$10,000; Birdstone (whose sire Grindstone won the 1996 Gr1 Kentucky Derby) was the horse who spoiled the 2004 US Triple Crown bid of Smarty Jones (in that year's Gr1 Belmont Stakes). Kentucky-bred Mine That Bird is owned by the Double Eagle Ranch of Mark Allen & Buena Suerta Equine (owned by veterinarian Leonard Blach); after he made his initial 5 starts in Canada (winning 3 stakes) he was purchased privately by his current owners for US$400,000. Overall he now boasts 5 wins (also including 2008's Canadian Gr3 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes over 8.5 furlongs at Woodbine, Canadian Listed Swynford Stakes over 7 furlongs at Woodbine & Canadian Listed Silver Deputy Handicap over 6.5 furlongs at Woodbine) & a runner-up (in February's Listed Borderland Derby over 8.5 furlongs at Sunland Park) from 9 starts for US$1,791,581 earnings.

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