Derby Contenders

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 2 2009 135th Kentucky Derby presented by YUM! Brands Churchill Downs I 1 1/4 1 REPLAY

Connections

Bennie Woolley Jr.

Trainer

Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. began training horses in 1983 in New Mexico, and the 45-year-old conditioner will saddle his first Kentucky Derby starter with Mine That Bird. A resident of Bloomfield, New Mexico, Chip is a regular on the New Mexico circuit, training both Thoroughbreds and Quarterhorses, and he's been an active member of the New Mexico Horseman's Association for many years. With an expanding public stable, Woolley is now starting to run Thoroughbreds at other tracks in the Midwest. The avid motorcycle enthusiast was injured in an accident over the winter and arrived in Louisville on crutches.

Calvin Borel

Jockey

Born in South Louisiana, Borel knew from a very early age he wanted to become a jockey. He won his first career Kentucky Derby in 2007 on Street Sense, and followed that up two years later with a rail skimming ride on longshot Mine That Bird, and won his third Kentucky Derby in 2010 aboard Super Saver. Borel also won the 2009 Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes aboard Rachel Alexandra. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Double Eagle Ranch & Bueno Suerte Equine

Owner

Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Blach own in partnership Canadian champion two-year-old Mine That Bird, who will be the first Kentucky Derby starter for the New Mexico residents. Allen and Block purchased Mine That Bird after the Kentucky-bred gelding captured the Grey S. (Can-G3), Swynford S. and Silver Deputy S. at Woodbine last year and turned him over to Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr., who trains for both Allen and Block on the New Mexico circuit. At Allen's Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, Allen and Block are partners in the Double Eagle Ranch Training Center, which Quarterhorse Hall of Famer Jerry Nicodemus manages. So Long Birdie (Pioneering), a half-brother to 2004 Belmont S. (G1) and Travers S. (G1) hero Birdstone (Grindstone), stands at Double Eagle Ranch.

Lamantia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds

Breeder

Lamanthia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds bred Mine That Bird, who initially sold for $9,500 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale. The Kentucky-bred garnered Canadian champion two-year-old honors for his previous owners, reeling off three straight stakes wins at Woodbine, before being privately sold to Mike Allen and Dr. Leonard. Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds is a commercial breeding operation co-owned by Phil Needham and Bill Betz, who have been partners for 20 years. Needham/Betz is one of the industry's most successful consignors, despite modest numbers. They generally consign some 25 horses to the Keeneland September yearling sale and a few yearlings to the Fasig-Tipton July and Saratoga yearling sales. Their 280-acre farm is located near Fasig-Tipton Kentucky in Lexington, where they have approximately 60 broodmares. The farm keeps a few fillies to race and to build its broodmare band. Top horses bred by Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds (singly or in partnership) include El Corredor, Roman Ruler, Dubai Escapade, Madcap Escapade, Tricky Squaw, Dignitas and Silver Tornado.

Pedigree

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