The traditional police escort for the Kentucky Derby winner greeted trainer Chip Woolley and Mine That Bird when they arrived at Pimlico yesterday after a 10 hour float trip from Churchill Downs.
“I called a friend on the way and said it’s the first time I’ve had the police leading me instead of chasing me,” quipped Woolley who is a first-time visitor to Maryland. “The horse was calm all the way; ate his feed, cleaned up good; drank all his water.”
The New Mexico-based trainer saddled Mine That Bird (Birdstone) for a stunning 50-1 upset by six lengths in the Run for the Roses on May 2.
Woolley, 45, allowed Mine That Bird to pose for photographers and cameramen for 15 minutes only minutes after arriving. The Kentucky-bred horse stood calmly, unfazed by the frantic chorus of clicking camera shutters.
Woolley seemed as relaxed as his colt prior to the Preakness on an unlikely Triple Crown campaign. “I’m having a lot of fun now,” Woolley said. “It took a little while after the Derby to sink in, but now I’m starting to really enjoy it.”
Mine That Bird will bedded down in Stall 40, the traditional stall reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner in the Preakness Stakes Barn.