Mine That Bird (Birdstone) caused a 50-1 upset when he skimmed the inside rail to win the G1 Kentucky Derby by almost seven lengths at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The winning margin was the widest since Assault won by eight lengths in 1946.
Mine That Bird was last in the early going and showed a tremendous burst of speed in the straight slipping through a slim opening to surge past place-getters Pioneerof the Nile and Musket Man.
Winning jockey Calvin Borel became the first hoop since Jerry Bailey in 1993 to complete the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby double in the same year . Borel won the Oaks on Friday aboard Rachel Alexandra.
Mine That Bird was Canada’s 2yo Sovereign Award winner last year off the strength of three stakes wins including the G3 Grey Stakes. He had raced just twice this year, finishing second in the Borderland Derby and fourth in Sunland Derby.
Sunny’s Halo is the only previous Sovereign Award winner as champion two-year-old male to go on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Bred in Kentucky, Mine That Bird is the first starter out of the unraced Smart Strike mare Mining My Own, who is a half sister to stakes winner Golden Sunray.
Mine That Bird was originally purchased by Woodbine trainer Dave Cotey before selling the colt to his current owners.
“I did quite like him,” said Cotey, of the $9,500 yearling purchase. “He was compact, had nice balance and a nice walk to him. He walked around like he owned the place.”
After his half-length win in the Grey Stakes last October, the New Mexico group of Double Eagle Ranch and Bueno Suerte Equine called him and made an offer that Coley accepted.
Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Friesan Fire, a son of Australian G1 winner Bollinger, was sent off favourite but finished next to last.