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Summer Bird close to return, Mine That Bird to Lukas

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 |
Birdstone’s leading sons are gearing up for their respective 4-year-old campaigns. Champion and Classic winner Summer Bird is about two weeks from his first official breeze, trainer Tim Ritchey reported Wednesday, while Mine That Bird has been moved to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and will point for a summer debut.

Summer Bird has been galloping regularly at Delaware Park since mid-March, and Ritchey reports “He’s doing great, he’s 100%.” Summer Bird sustained a minor hairline fracture in his right front leg last December while training for the Japan Cup Dirt (G1).

Ritchey said plans are for Summer Bird to race three or four times before the Breeders’ Cup this fall at Churchill Downs. The trainer did not specify any races, saying “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I have a bunch of races penciled in…the Breeders’ Cup is our major goal. That’s what we’re working toward.”

Summer Bird races for his breeders, Drs. K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman. Winner of the Belmont (G1), Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last year, he has a record of 9-4-1-1-, $2,323,040.

Mine That Bird, last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) hero, also has not raced since last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) after receiving a break following the race. He’s enjoyed turn-out time at his owners’ farm in New Mexico, and the decision was announced Wednesday that the late-closing bay would race in 2010 under the care of Lukas.