August 17, 2009

Mine That Bird to have throat surgery

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will have throat surgery Tuesday but may be able to run in the Travers Stakes Aug. 29, trainer Chip Woolley said.

The 3-year-old gelding has an entrapment of epiglottis, Woolley said.

A veterinarian discovered the problem, which affects the tissue that covers the windpipe when the animal swallows.

The condition is enough that we're going to take him to the city (Elmont, N.Y.) tonight and do surgery on him in the morning, Woolley said at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the Travers will be run.

The doctors think, there's no guarantees, but the doctors think he'll be good for Travers; he'll be here and ready to run in the Travers, the trainer said. But it will be somewhat day-to-day. We will not run him if he's not 100 percent, so we're gonna see how things go with the deal tomorrow.

Jockey Jamie Theriot rode Mine That Bird in workouts Monday at Saratoga's main track.

Mine that Bird has been at Saratoga since placing third in the West Virginia Derby Aug. 1.

The horse, owned by Dr. Leonard Bloch and Mark Allen, was a long shot winner of the Kentucky Derby and finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes this year.