By Mint Julep


Mine That Bird Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

2009 kentucky derby winner mine that bird

Join Mine That Bird on an exciting journey as we follow his remarkable rise from a modest beginning to his incredible upset victory at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Experience the thrill of witnessing this champion’s early triumphs at Woodbine Racetrack, leading to him being crowned Canadian Champion as a 2-year-old. Follow along as he conquers the Triple Crown and secures major wins and earnings that establish his place in racing history. Explore what happened after retirement under Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and learn about the lasting impact of this iconic underdog both on and off the racetrack.

Early Life and Family Background

Born in Kentucky on May 10, 2006, Mine That Bird stood out as a top American Thoroughbred racehorse with an impressive family tree. His dad, Birdstone, won the Belmont Stakes in 2004, while his mom Mining My Own also added to his exceptional genes. Looking at his ancestors shows he’s connected to Northern Dancer through both parents and links back to famous horses like Native Dancer and Mr. Prospector via his mom.

Mine That Bird was a fiery horse with a mix of prestigious bloodlines that made him special on the racetrack. With roots tying him to champions like Birdstone and Mining My Own – who were linked to big racing names – this young colt showed early potential for greatness thanks to his genes.

Starting from humble beginnings in Kentucky’s green fields, Mine That Bird carried echoes of excellence passed down by generations of standout Thoroughbreds within him. His lineage painted a picture of resilience and determination; it hinted at more than just average success waiting for him on the track. This strong heritage set the stage for an extraordinary journey filled with surprises around every corner.

As Mine That Bird raced across tracks all over America fueled by a robust pedigree soaked in history and triumphs, he showcased not just talent but also centuries-old legacy meeting glory head-on amid tough competition. The storybook chapters written by this unassuming yet powerful steed captured hearts well beyond racing circles; they left lasting marks along horseracing’s history as proof of courage defying expectations time after time.

Introduction to Racing

Mine That Bird started his journey in the world of horse racing with a modest price tag of $9,500 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale. Under Canadian trainer David Cotey’s guidance, this unassuming colt quickly made a name for himself at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. With an impressive record of winning four out of six races, Mine That Bird showed early signs of promise and determination.

The year 2008 was pivotal for Mine That Bird as he became the Canadian Champion 2-year-old Male Horse. His wins in races like the Silver Deputy Stakes and Swynford Stakes established him as a rising star in competitive horse racing. These initial triumphs hinted at greater achievements on the horizon for this talented underdog.

Despite starting from humble beginnings and having an unassuming stature, Mine That Bird’s performances captured hearts within racing circles and beyond. The spirit shown by this determined colt resonated with fans who appreciated witnessing an underdog story unfold before their eyes. From gaining popularity among audiences in Canada to laying a strong foundation for what lay ahead, Mine That Bird’s early successes paved the way for one remarkable career trajectory.

As Mine That Bird raced across tracks throughout North America during his formative years, it became increasingly clear that he possessed something unique—a combination of grit, skill, and sheer determination that would drive him to even greater heights within the sport. This chapter marked only just beginning; spectators were unaware they were witnessing history unfolding—the ascent of a dark horse destined for glory amid tough competition on some of horse racing’s biggest stages.

The Pros & Cons of Underdog Triumphs


  1. Inspires others with hope and motivation
  2. Shows the strength of perseverance and determination
  3. Tells an exciting and unforgettable story
  4. Questions traditional expectations and norms


  1. Might create unrealistic hopes for upcoming underdog tales
  2. Could outshine the accomplishments of other worthy competitors
  3. Must handle the stress of sustaining victory after the initial win
  4. Risk facing more scrutiny and pressure as an underdog

Triple Crown Triumphs

In 2009, Mine That Bird became a star after his amazing win at the Kentucky Derby. Despite being considered a long shot with odds of 50-1, he defied expectations and captured the hearts of racing fans worldwide. Jockey Calvin Borel skillfully guided him to victory in an unexpected triumph that left a lasting impact on horse racing history.

After his impressive performance at Churchill Downs, Mine That Bird faced tough competition in the following Triple Crown races. He finished second in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes, showcasing his determination and underdog spirit throughout. His ability to challenge top contenders not only displayed his talent but also made him a beloved figure among racegoers.

Although he narrowly missed winning all three jewels of the Triple Crown, Mine That Bird’s legacy continued beyond those memorable races. His resilience and grit served as inspiration for young jockeys and trainers seeking success in the sport. His story exemplified overcoming obstacles against all odds—a true testament to perseverance within horse racing folklore for years to come.

Major Wins and Earnings

Mine That Bird, a true underdog in the exciting world of horse racing, amazed fans and experts with his incredible journey from being unknown to becoming victorious. He earned an impressive $2,228,637 during his remarkable career. Key wins like the Silver Deputy Stakes and Swynford Stakes in 2008 set the stage for his outstanding performance at the Grey Stakes that same year.

However, Mine That Bird’s historic win at the Kentucky Derby in 2009 truly marked him as one of racing’s most surprising champions. Against all expectations, this unassuming gelding raced down Churchill Downs’ track on a rainy day with jockey Calvin Borel leading the way. The pair skillfully maneuvered through competitors like expert navigators charting intricate paths on fabric – their partnership undeniable and their resolve unyielding.

The victory at the Kentucky Derby was more than just about winning; it showcased determination, resilience, and sheer perseverance against tough competition. As Mine That Bird charged towards triumph with Borel guiding every stride expertly, onlookers held their breaths in awe at witnessing a story unfold before them—a tale akin to legends where David overcomes Goliath with style and speed.

Following his post-Derby success brought Mine That Bird into widespread attention like never before. Suddenly thrust into fame after being an average contender among many forgotten names pre-race day—his journey became legendary within racing circles and beyond. People cheered for this unexpected hero who surpassed predictions by clinching America’s grandest race not through showiness but pure heart and exceptional talent unmatched.

Despite retiring from competitive races later on, Mine That Bird is forever etched in history not only as a winner but also as a symbol of dreams achieved against impossible odds—a source of hope for those striving towards greatness despite facing daunting challenges ahead—the little horse that could still echoes profoundly within hearts well beyond racetracks—an enduring emblem of bravery amidst uncertainty immortalized amongst equine legends worldwide

Race Record and Notable Achievements

Attribute Information
Sire Birdstone
Grandsire Grindstone
Dam Mining My Own
Damsire Smart Strike
Sex Gelding
Foaled May 10, 2006
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Lamantia Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds
Owner 1) Dominion Bloodstock, D. Ball and HGHR Inc.
2) Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine
Trainer 1) David Cotey
2) Richard Mandella
3) Bennie L. “Chip” Woolley, Jr.
4) D. Wayne Lukas
Record 18: 5-2-1
Earnings $2,228,637
Major wins Silver Deputy Stakes (2008)
Swynford Stakes (2008)
Grey Stakes (2008)
Triple Crown Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (2009)
Awards Canadian Champion 2-yr-old Male Horse (2008)
Honours Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2015)

Hall of Fame Induction

In 2015, Mine That Bird was honored with induction into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, solidifying his status as a legend in the sport. This prestigious recognition celebrated his exceptional talent and incredible journey from an underdog to a champion. His thrilling win at the Kentucky Derby in 2009 marked just one of many triumphs in a career defined by resilience and determination.

Beyond his victories on the track, Mine That Bird’s legacy continues to inspire fans and aspiring racers alike. Known for his modest beginnings and humble attitude, he captured hearts around the world with his unlikely rise to success. The unwavering spirit he showed throughout his racing days resonated with audiences who saw him as a symbol of perseverance against all odds.

The induction into the Hall of Fame was proof of Mine That Bird’s lasting impact on horse racing history. As fans reminisce about this unsung hero who defied expectations, they see that greatness can come from anywhere – regardless of background or cost. Rising from obscurity to eternal fame within horse racing lore, Mine That Bird remains a shining example of relentless determination and enduring love for competition.

Walking through halls adorned with tributes to equine excellence, visitors pause before Mine That Bird’s plaque—a symbol not only celebrating past achievements but also inspiring future possibilities. Alongside other renowned figures in horse racing history, his name serves as a reminder that talent can emerge unexpectedly; it’s not where you start but how you finish that truly shapes your legacy in sports history.

Post-racing Ventures

After retiring from racing, Mine That Bird’s journey took an exciting turn. Guided by D. Wayne Lukas, he discovered a new passion outside the track, diving into various equestrian activities and leisurely adventures.

During his years of retirement, Mine That Bird enjoyed being in the spotlight. He attended different events where he charmed audiences with his friendly nature and undeniable charm that had once captured fans during races.

Even after leaving competitive racing behind, Mine That Bird continued to make a lasting impact on horse racing enthusiasts worldwide. Known for his grit and unwavering spirit, he was an inspiration to many—a true example of an underdog who overcame challenges to triumph at Churchill Downs.

As time went on and Mine That Bird settled into retirement life, he remained a beloved figure for those who followed his incredible journey from obscurity to success. His legacy represented resilience and determination that motivated numerous individuals both within and beyond the horse racing community.

With each passing year since retiring from racing, Mine That Bird’s tale has captivated seasoned equine sports followers as well as newcomers alike—serving as a source of hope for dreamers pursuing their own seemingly impossible victories in life’s grand race.

The Enigmatic Journey of Mine That Bird

  1. ### The Fascinating Story of Mine That Bird
  2. **Early Origins**: Mine That Bird was born on May 10, 2006, in Kentucky. His father, Birdstone, clinched the Belmont Stakes title inHis mother, Mining My Own, also enjoyed a victorious racing career.
  3. **Surprising Victory at the Kentucky Derby**: In 2009, Mine That Bird astounded the racing community with his triumph at the prestigious Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs. Guided by jockey Calvin Borel, he executed a historic move hugging the rail to secure an impressive win by a margin of 6¾ lengths.
  4. **Run at Preakness Stakes**: Following his remarkable win at the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird went on to compete in the Preakness Stakes where he claimed second place behind Rachel Alexandra. Despite falling short of victory there too, his performance further cemented his popularity among fans.
  5. **Retirement and Impact**: Retiring from racing in 2010 after participating in 18 races and securing five victories along with earnings exceeding $2 million; Mine That Bird transitioned into a successful sire role passing down his exceptional genes to future equine generations.
  6. .**Silver Screen Adaptation:** The inspiring underdog tale of Mine That Bird got commemorated through “50 to 1,” a feature film released in 2014 depicting his journey towards winning the acclaimed Kentucky Derby alongside showcasing the improbable team that propelled him forward – captivating audiences globally while tugging at their heartstrings.

Pop Culture References

When Mine That Bird unexpectedly won the Kentucky Derby, it shook up the racing world and inspired a true underdog story that touched many beyond just horse racing fans. His incredible victory in 2009 became a symbol of hope for dreamers and believers everywhere. It wasn’t just about speed but also about resilience, determination, and an unbreakable spirit—a perfect example of beating the odds against all expectations.

The film “50 to 1,” which tells the story of Mine That Bird’s journey to his Derby win, is more than just a movie about a race; it’s a tale filled with courage and determination. Viewers are taken on an emotional ride as they see how sheer willpower can help even unlikely contenders achieve greatness on one of horse racing’s biggest stages. Skeet Ulrich’s portrayal of trainer Chip Woolley beautifully captures the special bond between man and horse that drove them towards their improbable success.

As people watched Mine That Bird charging down Churchill Downs’ homestretch like lightning through clouds, they weren’t only witnessing history being made; they were experiencing something profound—an inspiring moment where determination conquered seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Christian Kane’s depiction of Mark Allen adds depth to this captivating story by showing camaraderie in tough times—demonstrating how teamwork turns dreams into reality when passion meets purpose head-on.

With William Devane playing Doc Blach—the wise mentor guiding these bold individuals toward their shared destiny—the film not only immortalizes Mine That Bird’s unforgettable impact on racing history but also highlights universal themes we all face: perseverance, believing in ourselves despite doubts, and seizing opportunities even when faced with overwhelming challenges. In essence, “50 to 1” isn’t your typical sports drama—it stands as proof that unwavering determination can turn dark horses into shining stars that ignite our collective imagination with endless possibilities waiting to be explored!

Legacy Beyond Racing Tracks

Mine That Bird didn’t just make waves in the horse racing world – he also left a mark on popular culture. Rapper Lil Wayne even gave a shoutout to the unlikely champion in one of his songs, showing how Mine That Bird’s story reached unexpected audiences. This recognition from the music industry shed light on the horse’s incredible journey and surprising win at the Kentucky Derby.

Making appearances on TV shows like “This American Life,” Mine That Bird further solidified his impact outside of traditional race tracks. These TV spots not only raised awareness about his remarkable story but also introduced a broader audience to the excitement of horse racing and its tales of triumph against all odds.

The fact that Mine That Bird transcended his sport speaks volumes about his lasting influence. His underdog tale resonated with more than just passionate race fans, establishing him as a symbol of persistence and success against great challenges.

In today’s sports-dominated news cycle, Mine That Bird stood out for more than just winning races; he represented hope, determination, and defying expectations. His presence in mainstream culture served as a reminder that greatness can emerge unexpectedly – even from an ordinary-looking bird named mine.

Over time, Mine That Bird evolved into more than just a champion racehorse; he became an emblematic figure embodying unlikely victories and unwavering spirit. Through pop culture references and TV cameos, this unassuming hero made an unforgettable impression worldwide – proving that sometimes it only takes one extraordinary moment to leave behind a legacy for ages to come.

Continuing Impact and Recognition

In 2009, Mine That Bird shocked the world by winning the Kentucky Derby in a true underdog tale that captured global attention. Despite being seen as an outsider with odds of 50-1, this unassuming gelding surpassed all expectations and etched his name into history. It wasn’t just a victory; it was a display of determination, grit, and sheer willpower.

After his impressive win at the Derby, Mine That Bird continued to impress in other top races like the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. While he didn’t replicate his Derby success in these events, his fierce competitiveness on the track left a lasting impact on fans and rivals alike. His journey from obscurity to fame served as inspiration for many young racehorses striving to defy the odds.

Even after retiring from competitive racing, Mine That Bird remained in the limelight through various activities. Whether appearing at horse racing events or interacting with fans during tours across different states, he proved himself not just as a one-time sensation but also as a cherished figure within equine sports. His charisma and appeal endeared him to everyone he encountered.

Mine That Bird’s remarkable story has been immortalized in books and films highlighting his incredible rise to glory at Churchill Downs. The film “50 to 1” brought back his extraordinary journey for newer generations eager to learn about legendary horses who conquered immense challenges against all odds. With each retelling of his tale, Mine That Bird’s legacy continues to strengthen.

Over time, Mine That Bird is remembered not only for what he achieved on the racetrack but also for embodying qualities such as resilience and perseverance that go beyond mere athletic accomplishments. He stands as proof that greatness can emerge from unexpected sources if one possesses enough heart and courage—a valuable lesson embraced by those within both the horse racing community and beyond its boundaries.


1. How did Mine That Bird manage to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby as a massive underdog?

In the 2009 Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird shocked everyone by winning as a huge underdog. He made an incredible late sprint from the back of the pack along the rail, demonstrating his outstanding speed and determination. Jockey Calvin Borel expertly guided him to victory in a thrilling race that left spectators amazed.

2. What were some key moments in Mine That Bird’s racing career leading up to his historic Kentucky Derby victory?

Mine That Bird had some important races before his big Kentucky Derby win. He won the 2009 Sunland Derby and then shocked everyone by winning the Kentucky Derby as a huge underdog at 50-1 odds, with jockey Calvin Borel riding him to victory.

3. What impact did Mine That Bird’s unexpected triumph have on the world of horse racing?

The surprising win by Mine That Bird at the 2009 Kentucky Derby not only amazed horse racing fans but also reminded everyone that underdogs can overcome challenges and reach great heights on a grand platform.

4. How did Mine That Bird’s jockey, Calvin Borel, contribute to his success at the Kentucky Derby?

Calvin Borel’s amazing ability to ride horses and strong bond with Mine That Bird were key factors in their incredible win at the Kentucky Derby. It demonstrated an impressive level of trust and teamwork between the jockey and the horse.

5. What post-retirement ventures has Mine That Bird been involved in since retiring from racing?

After retiring from racing, Mine That Bird has stayed busy by making public appearances. He was even in a documentary called “50 to 1” that showcased his amazing Kentucky Derby victory. He also attends events where he meets fans and helps promote the sport of horse racing.

6. In what ways has Mine That Bird’s story been immortalized in popular culture and media following his Kentucky Derby win?

The incredible rise of Mine That Bird from unknown to winner at the Kentucky Derby has been celebrated in books, documentaries, and a film called “50 to 1.” This ensures that his unexpected victory remains a beloved story in horse racing history.