- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. | Calvin Borel is back on Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and he’s thinking about another Triple Crown victory.

“We’re gonna win, no questions asked,” Borel predicted after a workout Monday at Churchill Downs, where the gelding did a half-mile in 50 seconds.

That was his Derby-winning formula.

“He worked in 50 [seconds] and out in 1:02, just like before the Derby. He is doing everything the same,” the jockey said. “After those two hard races [the Derby and Preakness], I think the [horse] is very happy.”

It seems like everybody in Mine That Bird’s camp is happy these days.

That starts with Borel.

He would have ridden Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra if the filly had been entered in the Belmont Stakes. But Barbara Banke, wife of co-owner Jess Jackson, said they’re looking out for her future and passed on the race. Borel said he is committed to ride the horse for the next year.

So Borel is back on Mine That Bird with a chance to win all three legs of the Triple Crown on two horses, something no jockey has done.

He’s already way past his dream of just winning the Kentucky Derby. He has done that twice, the first time aboard Street Sense in 2007.

And what do he and Mine That Bird need for a win Saturday?

“We just gotta get lucky,” he said, wearing a Mine That Bird hat before the horse’s morning work. “Me and the horse fit good.”

The horse was still bouncing and kicking when he came off the track on his way to a cool-down walk and bath under the watch of trainer Chip Woolley.

“He’s just a happy camper,” Borel said.

Woolley thinks his horse may be even better now after a second-place finish in the Preakness in which he was closing on Rachel Alexandra.

“I was thinking last week he’s probably training better than he did going into the Derby,” Woolley said. “Calvin got the work I wanted out of him this morning. … They just looked like they were bread and butter.”

Even Banke is going to be on Mine That Bird’s side when the gates open Saturday.

“I’m hoping Calvin gets the Calvin Triple Crown,” she said.

It was only Friday that Jackson announced the filly would not run in the Belmont, making Borel available for Mine That Bird. Borel’s agent, Jerry Hissam, said there were never any hard feelings between the two teams and rider.

“We had to go the way we went, and [Woolley] was very comfortable with it,” Hissam said. “It’s all been real good teamwork between two camps and ourselves.”

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