Mine That Bird a 2-1 favorite in Belmont field
What a perfect contrast in this soap opera of a Triple Crown season: The trainer hobbles up to the podium to talk about the horse who streaked to victory in the Kentucky Derby and is looking to add Saturday’s Belmont Stakes to his record.
Still on crutches after breaking his right leg in a motorcycle crash before the Derby, Chip Woolley said his little gelding is ready for one more big run in the Belmont. A win, and Mine That Bird would become the 12th Derby-Belmont winner and first since Thunder Gulch in 1995.
And his rider, Calvin Borel, would be the first to win the Triple Crown on different horses: He won the Derby with Mine That Bird and the Preakness with Rachel Alexandra, who won’t run in the Belmont.
Mine That Bird “is doing super,” Woolley said. “He’s gotten stronger every day since the Preakness, and we’re tickled with where he is right now.”
Mine That Bird arrived at Belmont Park on Wednesday from Louisville, hours after being made the 2-1 favorite in a field of 10 3-year-olds for the 1 1/2 -mile Belmont. The Derby winner drew the No. 7 post position for the most grueling of the Triple Crown races.
Charitable Man, who missed the Derby and the Preakness but won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 9, was the second choice at 3-1. He’ll be ridden by Alan Garcia, winner of last year’s Belmont with 38-1 longshot Da’ Tara.
Also entered, from the rail out, are: Chocolate Candy (10-1), Dunkirk (4-1), Mr. Hot Stuff (15-1), Summer Bird (12-1), Luv Gov (20-1), Flying Private (12-1), Miner’s Escape (15-1) and Brave Victory (15-1).
* BELMONT STAKES DRAW, C6