Mine That Bird going to Hollywood!

Well, it’s official… they are making a movie out of the Mine That Bird “he came from nowhere!” 2009 Kentucky Derby story.

I think this can only help boost awareness of the horse in general and garner sympathies/accolades, perhaps, and new fans for this horse in particular.  And, even though some of you may not agree with some horse racing behind the scenes tactics (I’m one of them), I am totally behind a “come from behind” winner who is a gelding (ha!), was trained in an unusual way, by not mainstream horse racing folk, and was retired while still healthy.  A GREAT formula for a ‘feel good’ movie!

Movie poster

For any of you who are not familiar, Mine that Bird was famously hauled from New Mexico, by his trainer in a basic trailer and pickup, with no fanfare and a non-stop trip, to run in the Kentucky Derby.   He won the race by more than six lengths at 50-1.

For me, I never get tired of watching the race video.  OMG!  Talk about exhilarating!

The second best part is that the announcer is scrambling to figure out the name of the horse with the #8!  I love it!

Click to Watch the Derby!


The fun news is that they are planning on shooting as much as possible in New Mexico which is wonderful since I’m sure NM need the income and of course, that is where most of the meat of the story takes place.

Who is “they”?   Well, Jim Wilson, Academy Award-winning producer of “Dances With Wolves” and many other films, such as “The Bodyguard,” “Wyatt Earp,” and “Message In a Bottle,” is the film’s producer/director.

From where I sit, producer/director is a very tough job…  Any movie production creates volumes of information  for any producer or director to masticate but to have one person do both roles is really a lot to chew (pardon the horrible pun – not enough coffee this morning).

What I think is also interesting is that all of the movies mentioned above included Kevin Costner.  Interesting.  He is not mentioned in any article I’ve read so he is probably not involved with this one.  However, I wonder if he is anywhere behind the scenes… Just asking.

Another interesting point here is that they are making another HORSE movie.  ??  I guess the recent SeaBiscuit and Secretariat movies did well enough that this MINE THAT BIRD movie was green lighted.  Truly, no studio is going to back a bad formula on purpose.

This also makes me wonder if there is a Zenyatta movie on the drafting table?…

Anyway, they plan on using the real Mine That Bird in his movie as often as possible!  Wow!  Fun… he didn’t retire in vain!

Love this!


Mine That Bird was retired on November 29th of this year at Churchill Downs.  He was presented with the ceremonial blanket and cheered by thousands of fans.

Mine That Bird has spent the past three weeks making the transition from racehorse to retiree at his new home, Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, N.M.

“We’re still hand walking him to let him down,” said Leonard Blach, who co-owns the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner with Mark Allen. “He’s really relaxing and really settled in.

“He’s had quite a few visitors.”

MTB peeks out of his stall the day after the Derby


Yup, it is true.  Mine That Bird was less than remarkable in his races after the 2009 Derby.  However, those in the know cut him some slack with these words:

To be fair to the horse, that eight-race losing streak is riddled with legitimate excuses. In the eight races since the Derby, Mine That Bird has had five jockey changes, a trainer change, traffic in the Preakness and a bad ride in the Belmont. Two starts came at Santa Anita over a synthetic surface he obviously did not like and his first start this year was a last-second entry into the Firecracker Handicap on turf. In the Woodward he again ran with a new jockey, and blinkers for the first time, and a failed attempt at a new, closer-to-the-pace running style.

And, let’s not forget, he is a gelding (running against stallions). The little horse from New Mexico won five of 18 career starts with more than $2 million in earnings.

I have to hand it to his owners… I like this quote regarding his retirement:

“He just doesn’t have that kick anymore, for whatever reason,” Blach told Daily Racing Form. “He’s sound and we’ve never had to so much as inject one joint. He’s done what he’s needed to do so, before he gets hurt, we just thought it was time to go on and bring him home. We don’t want to hurt him or disgrace him anymore.”

Mine That Bird in his Churchill Downs retirement blanket


From what I’ve read, there are many articles on the Internet that say MTB shouldn’t really retire.  He should just take a break and then start training again with his now famous trainer, Chip Woolley.  It seems to be many peoples’ opinion that MTB is very talented, just had a series of unfortunate mishaps.

They go on to say that maybe he shouldn’t race in the 1’s but perhaps settle into the circuit just below.

Hmmmm.  I guess we’ll see…  Maybe this movie will be just the ticket to bring him out of retirement.

Atta Boy!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

INSTANT KARMA DO-GOODING! Our December Bucket Fund

HELP AND GET A PAYBACK!!   Donation Gift Certificates are here (link)!  Yup, if you donate to help Tullie (the burned horse), Gump (the ugly horse), Dixie (the starved and sick horse) or the Wild Mustangs/Burros (the gathered horses), you can now get  “A Donation has been made in Your Honor” certificates to give as gifts!  You can give them to coworkers, family, friends or even in lost pets’ names… for this Holiday Season. Yay!  INSTANT KARMA!

Click to order your certificate!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

2 comments have been posted...

  1. Karen Sweatman

    It was music to my ears to hear someone else saying nice things about the little gelding. Everything said was true. Mine that Bird is a good horse, he went through too many changes too soon, he got burned out, lost heart, it happens. I hope he lives a long happy life. He’ll always be one of my favorites. I think he wanted to call it quits. The horse who could’ve easily went another year is Zenyatta. She loves the game and taking her off the track took a little piece of her heart. I don’t believe she is as happy as everyone makes her out to be.

  2. Rosemary

    KUDOS and much respect to the owners of Mine That Bird. I hope their love and care for their retired racehorse and the notoriety of him becoming a Hollywood movie sends the message to the TB racing world and the horse world overall in how to treat a horse that has done his all for you,made them money and their racing dreams come true. My Christmas wish and lifelong love of the TB would be that this be the catalyst for all TB breeding/ racing industries to model and honor when their horses are finished racing. No horse should ever have to end up in a kill pen or in the “slaughter pipeline”. They deserve to be cared for, loved and pensioned not disposed of and forgotten.

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *