posted by Kalina on Jun 2

Calvin Borel was optimistic after working Mine That Bird a half mile in :50 on the morning of June 1st at Churchill Downs.

“Perfect,” says Borel, who won the Kentucky Derby on Mine That Bird, a son of the upset Belmont winner of  the 2004 Belmont Stakes. “He’s ready. We’re going to win. No questions asked.He’s ready. We’re going to win. No questions asked.”

Borel’s boast was similar to the one he made before the BlackBerry Preakness when he won on Rachel Alexandra. Mine That Bird had come in 2nd then, with jockey Mike Smith in the saddle. Borel was freed up to ride Mine The Bird in the Belmont after Rachel Alexandra’s owners, Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick had announced on May 29th that she would not be running in it. Her next start has not been announced, but she galloped five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 on June 1st.

Churchill clockers timed Mine That Bird and Calvin Borel in fractional splits of :13 4/5, :26 3/5, and :38 2/5. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 and was ridden out six furlongs in 1:15.

“I didn’t go fast, but he didn’t need to go fast,” Borel said of the workout. “He gets more from galloping than he does from a work. He did everything the same, just like before the Derby.”

Borel said he believes one reason the Derby and Preakness did not take much out of Mine That Bird is his patented late running style. “They might go a mile and a half, but he is going to gallop the first mile and only run the last three-eighths (of a mile).”

Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr., Mine That Bird’s trainer said he was pleased with the workout; he had wanted him to run the half-mile in about :49 2/5.  “He galloped out real strong,” Woolley said. “He looked real sharp to me.”

“I was thinking last week he is training better right now than he did going into the Derby,” he said. “He has held his weight really good and  he came off the track today just dancing. He came back from Pimlico a little bit rattled, but he has settled in right here and is doing good.”

“I can’t tell you what’s going to happen,” Borel said of anticipating how the Belmont will unfold. “When the gates break (open), I will read the race and will go from there. If we haven’t got much speed, we will liable to be close. If we’ve got speed, we will stay back. He’s got a good turn of foot.”

“You don’t want him as far back as he was in the other two (races) because the pace is going to be slower,” Woolley said of Belmont strategy. “We want him to run his same race, which will put him a little closer to the pace when they slow it down. It’s going to be hard to close in this, I’m sure of that. We’re not going to change his running style. We’re going to try to run the same race and see what happens. We will try to run our race and if our race is good enough, we will win, and if it’s not, we will run where we do. One thing about it, the distance suits my horse awful well. ”

Woolley says the colt will be shipped to New York on Wednesday, June 3rd. He also mentioned he did not see any benfit to training the horse over the unique Belmont track surface.

“My horse gets over the ground really easy… he just kind of bounces over the top of it,” Woolley said. “I really don’t have too much concern about it. If he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t like it. Training him on it isn’t going to make him like it any better. It would just give him more time to hate it worse. I don’t believe in going up there and training and believing it’s going to improve his chances.”

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One Comment to “Borel Believes Chances Are Good For Belmont Stakes”

  1. Tara Says:

    Excellent Article!

    If I could write like this I would be well chuffed 😉

    The more I read articles of such quality as this (which is rare), the more I think there might be a future for the Web. Keep it up, as it were.

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