The Brock Talk

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra, Summer Bird Have Monday Works

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird went to the track for a serious workout Monday morning at Churchill Downs while Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra had much the same schedule from her home at Saratoga Race Course in New York.

With jockey Jamie Theriot aboard, Mine That Bird worked four furlngs (1/2 mile) in :48.20 while preparing for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. 2) to be run Aug. 1 at Mountaineer Park.

"He finished up well and he's going into the race very well," said Theriot. "You can't ask for any better. I told (trainer) Chip (Woolley Jr.) that he's going into the race fantastic."

Woolley said he was extremely pleased with the work because he wanted to lay a strong foundation in the gelding since the West Virginia Derby will be eight weeks following Mine That Bird's third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes in early June.

"I got to studying last night and told Jamie that I wanted him to start galloping out strong from the five-eighths and I want him really working when he hits the half-mile pole," Woolley said. "I told Jamie if we're going to be dead fit, we're going to have to step it out and Jamie said he was just super-strong."

Over the weekend, Mine That Bird owners Dr. Leonard Blach and Mark Allen announced that Mine That Bird will lead the post parade to the prestigious All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico on labor day. Both Blach and Allen are from nearby Roswell, New Mexico and race quarter horses and thoroughbreda at Ruisoso Downs.

Meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra prepared for the $1 million Haskell Invitational to be run Aug. 2 with a bullet work over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga at 6 am Monday morning.

With exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard, Rachel Alexandra breezed six furlongs in 1:13.38 which was the fastest work of the morning at that distance (hence the term bullet work.

Terry put the three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro through fractions of :13 1/5 (first eighth of a mile), :25 2/5 (first quarter), :37 2/5 (three furlongs) and :49 3/5 (four furlongs). She then galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27 2/5. The average workout time over the training track this morning was :38 2/5 for three furlongs and :50 for four furlongs.

"She looked like her usual self; she was impressive and got over the ground well," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "We wanted [to give her] a nice, smooth three quarters and a long gallop."

(From Monmouth Park)
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird, expected to take on Preakness (gr. I) champion Rachel Alexandra in the Aug. 2 Haskell Invitational (gr. I), worked 1:13 4/5 for six furlongs at Monmouth Park July 19 as he continues to prepare for the $1 million event.

“He was perfect again,” said trainer Tim Ice, who watched the workout from the clocker’s stand on the Monmouth Park backstretch. “Everything is exactly on schedule. He’ll have his final breeze next Sunday. Kent (jockey Desormeaux) will be here for that.”

Desormeaux, who was aboard for the Belmont win, has the return call in the Haskell. He will be looking to become the first rider in Monmouth Park history to win back-to-back Haskells, having won it last year aboard Big Brown.

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