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Aug 21, 2009

Surgery successful for Mine That Bird; Travers on deck


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird underwent successful throat surgery on Tuesday for an entrapped epiglottis. Dr. Patricia Hogan performed the surgery on the three-year-old gelding at the Ruffian Equine Medical Center located across the street from Belmont Park.

Trainer Chip Woolley said everything went well and he is still hoping Mine That Bird will start in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 29.

"Went excellent, we got it done," Woolley said. "Went back in, scoped the horse, it looked really, really good. If you looked in there you'd never know he was entrapped before. It's real clean. He went to eating and acting normal as can be. I'm real happy."

On Monday following a workout, veterinarian Dr. James Hunt discovered the problem during a routine endoscopic examination. The condition involves the thin membrane lying below the epiglottis (the fleshy tissue that covers the windpipe when a horse swallows) moves up and covers the epiglottis.

"Basically, they've got a little hook with a kind of a sharp (piece) inside of the hook, and they just reach in and they hook the little piece thats grown up over the top and slice it in two," Woolley explained on Monday. "And that thing will kind of draw back away, and, for the most part, it will be gone."

Owned by Dr. Leonard Bloch and Mark Allen, Mine That Bird, as a 50-1 longshot, won the Kentucky Derby. Two weeks later he was second in the Preakness Stakes to the filly Rachel Alexandra and was third to Summer Bird in the Belmont Stakes.

Mine That Bird, 2008 Canadian champion two-year-old, has earned $1,892,200 with one win in six starts in 2009.

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