Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird’s connections decided not to enter the 3-year-old gelding in Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga, preferring to be cautious and wait to make sure he’s recovered from the throat surgery he underwent 11 days ago to repair an entrapped epiglottis.
Trainer Chip Woolley said Mine That Bird will be sent to Santa Anita to prepare for the $350,000 Grade 1 Goodwood Handicap during Santa Anita’s Oak Tree meet on Oct. 10 as a prep for the main objective — the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7.
“That gives us six more weeks for it to be for sure, positively completely healed,” trainer Chip Woolley told the Daily Racing Form. “We just want to go down the road and make sure the horse is 100 percent before we start.”
The Travers drew a field of seven Wednesday morning, including Florida Derby winner Quality Road, Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, Peter Pan Stakes champion Charitable Man, and Jim Dandy winner Kensei.
Quality Road, thought by some to be the best 3-year-old in America, was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Summer Bird is the 3-1 second choice. Quality Road, trained by Todd Pletcher, will be ridden by John Velazquez.