Mine that Bird ready for West Virginia
For horse racing enthusiasts in West Virginia, the upcoming West Virginia Derby will be a one of a kind event, but then again, Mine that Bird and his trainer, Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. are one of a kind. They are an inseparable team, and Woolley’s laid back and calm demeanor seems to have rubbed off on the Champion, who takes his victories in his stride and has become a racehorse that has won over many hearts during his career. But for West Virginia, it will be the first time they have a Kentucky Derby winner in their midst.
The West Virginia Derby will be hosted by the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort on the 1st of August 2009. It is a Grade II derby with a purse of $750 000. Even though horse racing in West Virginia spans over two hundred years, they have never had a Kentucky Derby winner compete in their state. Mine that Bird is about to change that; as he has been confirmed for the West Virginia Derby, which will be a significant moment in the history of West Virginia.
Mine that Bird has remained at Churchill Downs, where he has been receiving hydro treatments and lots of visits from adoring fans. Most of the people who have had direct access to the Kentucky Derby champion, either know people at the racecourse, trainers or jockeys. It does not take away from the fact that Woolley has allowed Mine that Bird to be accessible to members of the public, whereas most trainers do not allow any contact between their horses and the public as most racehorses are so highly strung, they can be a danger. But Mine that Bird seems to enjoy all the attention and fussing, allowing visitors to stroke him and keep him occupied during his hydro treatment that can get a little boring. It seems the champ is well rested and ready for his next start.
Woolley is happy with the condition of Mine that Bird and is looking forward to competing in West Virginia. Jockey Mike Smith will be in the saddle for race day, while exercise rider, George Smith will be taking take of his workouts leading up to the race. For West Virginia racing fans, it is a rare and exciting opportunity to see this magnificent horse in live racing action.