He’s Out!

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 3, 2009 in General Discussion, News, Other Events | 1 Comment >>

Mine That Bird is an incredible story. He shocked the world as a 50-1 shot on the big stage. All along, he brought a blue-collar rider from Louisiana as a passenger.

Calvin Borel is a solid rider. He can, and will win anywhere.

But, he will not be riding Mine That Bird. Chip Woolley needed a commitment, and Borel had business to tend to.

Woolley told Borel’s agent, Jerry Hissam, on Wednesday that he and Mine That Bird’s owners “had made a decision to go elsewhere,” after not receiving a firm commitment that Borel would ride Mine That Bird in the West Virginia Derby.

Borel also rides the promising 3-year-old Warrior’s Reward, who races in Saturday’s Dwyer Stakes at Belmont. That colt is expected to run in Saratoga’s Jim Dandy Stakes the same day as the West Virginia Derby, with both horses looking at Saratoga’s Aug. 29th Travers. Warrior’s Reward is trained by Louisville-based Ian Wilkes, with whom Borel has a long association, including riding 2007 Derby winner Street Sense for Wilkes’ training associate Carl Nafzger.

Calvin is a good hand in the barn, a solid man of his word, and in the end, all good things come to an end. He got to do many things after the Derby that many riders would not have had the luxury. Just ask Chris Rosier after watching Summer Bird win the Belmont.

I enjoyed the story of this year’s Triple Crown more than ever. Long shot runner with the “average guy” in the saddle gunning down the big dogs. What a story. In the end, things do change, and Calvin will never forget 2009. It is extremely rare to win the Oaks and Derby in the same year. Then, you choose the filly over the Derby winner in the Preakness. What a ride!

In the end, we will all look back and smile. It was a good run, and Calvin would have been the first to tell you. No matter where he winds up, I’ll bet we will hear from him soon.