Mine That Bird got squeezed coming out of the starting gate, and trainer Chip Woolley was worried. "When he got smashed leaving the gate and bounced to dead last, I was thinking, 'I'm not going to make a good showing in my first Derby,' but [jockey] Calvin [Borel] did a great job," Woolley said.
Borel took a firm hold and wrestled Mine That Bird to the rail while they were in last place, a ground-saving move.
Borel and Mine That Bird were 12th and going strong with a quarter mile to go, after working their way around Atomic Rain. Borel quickly angled back to the inside with three-sixteenths to go and shot the gelding through a tight spot approaching the eighth pole. Mine that Bird pulled away for a 6¾-length victory.
Woolley, who broke his right leg in a motorcycle accident over the winter, hobbled to hoist the trophy after the victory. "They'll know who I am now,'' the New Mexico-based trainer said.
FROM NEWS SERVICES