Smith won't ride Mine That Bird in Belmont

May 18, 2009 at 9:42 PM
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BALTIMORE, May 18 (UPI) -- Mike Smith, who rode Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to second in the Preakness, will not ride him in the June 6 Belmont Stakes.

Smith's agent, Brad Pegram, said Monday that the jockey has decided to ride Madeo in the Whittingham Stakes at Hollywood Park that day.

The decision opens the possibility that Calvin Borel, who rode Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby and winner Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, might ride Mine That Bird in the Belmont, if Rachel Alexandra does enter that race.

"We made this commitment to Madeo before the Preakness, before the filly was sold and Calvin took off Mine That Bird to ride the filly and we got a chance to ride Mine That Bird in the Preakness," Pegram said Monday.

Rachel Alexandra's trainer, Steve Asmussen, said Sunday he would consult with majority owner Jess Jackson before deciding on a Belmont start.

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