The Brock Talk

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Belmont Stakes Notes

Travel accomodations for Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird have been upgraded from coach - or horse trailer as it were - to first class. Trainer Chip Woolley said that he will be making arrangements to fly Mine That Bird to New York from his temporary base at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Previously Woolley had transported Mine That Bird by pulling him in a horse trailer behind his pick-up truck. Woolley was behind the wheel when taking Mine That Bird from Sunland Park near El Paso, Texas, more than 1,600 miles to Churchill Downs for the Derby. The little brown colt with the striking late run, also traveled with Woolley to Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore for the Preakness, then made the 10-hour drive back to Churchill Downs.

Woolley said that he has been advised by other trainers not to drive Mine That Bird through New York City because of traffic concerns.

There is one airline, Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, with one 727 cargo jet that carries a great many of the race and show horses throughout North America. They are the only North American based airliner exclussively for horses although can be shipped via Federal Express or another major cargo carrier.

Woolley also said that he will be making a decision regardng Mine That Bird's jockey no later than Monday. Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra has not been committed to the Belmont and a decision is not expected until after the filly works on the track Monday. That leaves jockey Calvin Borel and his agent up in the air a bit. Should Rachel Alexandra run in the Belmont Borel has said he will prefer to ride her. However, if she does not run, it is expected that Borel will get the return mount on Mine That Bird.

Peter Pan Stakes winner Charitable Man has been committed to run in the Belmont Stakes according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We have a lot of respect for [Rachel Alexandra], and Mine That Bird, but we think we want the mile and a half, we're here, we're doing great, we don't have to travel, and we're 2 for 2 over the track," McLaughlin said.

Seven Peter Pan winners have come back to take the Belmont, the most recent being A.P. Indy in 1992. Colonial Affair (1993) and Lemon Drop Kid (1999) both won the Belmont after running second and third, respectively, in the Peter Pan.

Alan Garcia, who rode Da' Tara to victory in last year's Belmont at 36-1, will ride Charitable Man.

Expected to return to the Triple Crown trail after missing the Preakness are Kentucky Derby sixth-place finisher Summer Bird and Mr. Hot Stuff, who was 15th in the Run For The Roses.


Waquiot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carmen said...

I dunno, Brock. Mine that bird or Rachel Alexandra? Can the filly pull it off? I think so!

Brock said...

I think she'll be very difficult to beat, but the 1-1/2 mile of the Belmont is always a quirky race because of the long distance. The question is now, whether she will run.

Donna McArthur said...

Wow, has The Bird stepped up or what? Going from Coach to First Class. Wonder if he has his rapid rewards card? Poor guy he may have to ride in that darned old horse trailer pulled by a truck (yuck) back to NM!!!! All I can say is what a horse and Congratulations for all he has accomplished. The sport of horse racing is not dead.