Trainer Jeff Mullins sent Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hero Buddy Gil for a half-mile work in :46 4/6, handily, over the Arcadia oval's muddy training track Monday morning. With the main track sealed and closed in anticipation of the early morning rains, Buddy Gil was one of only five horses who worked over the training track on the day and easily the fastest of the three who went a half-mile.
"He's seen a whole lot worse up in Idaho," Mullins said of the gelded son of Eastern Echo, who was broken and raised on a farm in Hagerman, Idaho. "This training track is big for him compared to those little three-eighths-mile tracks up there."
In the Santa Anita Derby, Buddy Gil swallowed a lot of dirt, according to jockey Gary Stevens, and was later found to have bled through Lasix, earning himself a spot on the CHRB's 14-day bleeders list. Monday's move didn't count to remove him from the list, but for his next work at Churchill Downs next week he'll be closely monitored by Kentucky state vet, Dr. Mitzi Fisher, who will fax a certificate to California state vet Dr. B. William Bell should she find him not to have bled and to have completed five furlongs in 1:03 or less. It's expected that Dr. Bell will then remove Buddy Gil from the California bleeders' list and clear him to run in the Kentucky Derby.
Buddy Gil will depart for the Bluegrass via Tex Sutton charter on Tuesday, along with, among others, fellow Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls Kafwain and Indian Express; Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) probables Ocean Terrace and Ministers Wild Cat; Derby Trial (gr. III) runner Domestic Dispute; and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) fillies Santa Catarina and Atlantic Ocean.
Mullins' wife, Amy, who is Buddy Gil's regular rider, will join the gelding in Kentucky on Tuesday to supervise training until her husband arrives later in the week. It will be a family affair as the Mullins' two young sons, Jeff Jr., nearly 4, and Justin, nearly 2, will be along for the trip.
"I feel like the luckiest man right now because my wife will be gone with my two kids and my mother-in-law," Mullins joked. "Seriously, it'll be nice to have all of them waiting for me when I get there."