It’s a Bird Flies Away with Million Classic

The Sunshine Millions Classic was inaugurated in 1981 and has been a horse racing event that has witnessed magnificent victories, unexpected triumphs and heartbreaking disappointments. On Saturday, 24 January 2009, another field of Sunshine Millions Classic hopefuls entered the starting gates for this $1million event, where four year olds and over get the opportunity to showcase their talents. But this year it was to be dominated by a horse that was sent off at 11-1, and used the Sunshine Millions Classic to make his comeback.

It’s a Bird was bred out of the mare Faithful City and was sired by Birdonthewire. He is trained by Marty Wolfson, and has been owned by Edmund Gann, after purchasing It’s a Bird from White Cross Farm in 2006. During his 2008 horse racing campaign, It’s a Bird enjoyed a few victories, such as the Plagiarize Stakes and the Spend a Buck Handicap, but in his last three racing events he was only able to find a fourth place in the Carl G. Rose Classic, second in the Kenny Noe Jr Handicap and a sixth in the Hal’s Hope Handicap. But Marty Wolfson had a plan up his sleeve to give It’s a Bird another chance at entering the winners’ circle.

Marty Wolfson had spoken to jockey Julien Leparoux before the race, and told him to try and ride It’s a Bird close to the leaders during the race, to give It’s a Bird a greater chance of breaking away when the time came. Leparoux did exactly what he was told and kept It’s a Bird just behind Finallymadeit, who was setting the pace. Many spectators were holding their breaths that Delightful Kiss will fight his way to the lead, but after experiencing a few problems during the event, his valiant effort could only settle him into third place. After passing Finallymadeit, there was no looking back for Leparoux and It’s a Bird, as they surged towards the finish line, and victory. Dry Martini finished in second position. Leparoux described it as the perfect race, saying: “We kept it nice for him and he did the rest. He got stronger as the race went on.”