Kentucky Derby Winners on Parade

I spent some time at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week this year, and they provided us with a rare treat between races on the Thursday before the Kentucky Oaks. Two previous winners of the Derby were paraded in the paddock: Funny Cide and Mine That Bird.

Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003 before coming in 3rd in that year’s Belmont. He made a total of 38 starts in his career and earned in excess of $3.5 million. His permanent home is the Kentucky Horse Park, but it was fantastic to see him at Churchill Downs. He got a little worked up for the crowd and danced around the paddock, as if he thought he was going to be saddled for the next race.

May 2, 2013: Funny Cide prances around the Churchill Downs paddock between races during Derby week.

Mine That Bird, 50 to 1 longshot winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby,¬†spent this summer as the guest of the Kentucky Derby Museum onsite at Churchill Downs. In 2009, he was also 2nd in the Preakness behind Rachel Alexandra and 3rd in the Belmont. His trainer for the Derby win was Chip Woolley, who was in town this year for the festivities and who led him around the paddock. Mine That Bird is a small gelding, just over 15 hands, but he’s still very fit with beautiful conformation. It’s hard to believe that he’s a half-brother to the strapping Dullahan, who ran 3rd in the 2012 Derby.

May 2, 2013: Chip Woolley escorts Mine That Bird around the paddock. He’s such a lovely little gelding!

May 2, 2013: Funny Cide poses for his fans at Churchill Downs.

May 2, 2013: Mine That Bird and Chip Woolley.

May 2, 2013: Funny Cide gets a little worked up for the crowd.

May 2, 2013: Mine That Bird and Chip Woolley.

May 2, 2013: The charming Mine That Bird.